Saturday, May 4, 2024

Something to Know - 4 May

Trump and MAGA are transitory problems.  So are many other issues that seem to overburden us with daily worries.  However, this thing that made it into my email drawer, rises to the subject of something that we absolutely need to be aware of.   I, like you, do not have any one answer to the problem.  Just needing to be aware is a good step in finding a response that holds true:

More about the author.   I do not know any more about him other than what the internet shows here: - Juan

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... Sam Delgado | formerly Texas Democratic Party; Jodi Clemens | formerly Bernie 2020, People's Action; Anthony Mascorro | formerly Full Frontal with Samantha ...


How the world wastes hundreds of billions of meals in a year, in three charts

Think twice before throwing out your leftovers.

A picture of discarded tangerines in a landfill in Dnipro, Ukraine.The UN reports that over a trillion dollars worth of food gets thrown out every year worldwide. Mykola Miakshykov/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

This story is part of a group of stories calledFuture Perfect

Finding the best ways to do good.

A billion meals are wasted every single day, according to a recent report from the United Nations. And that's a conservative estimate.

It's not just food down the drain, but money, too. The 2024 UN Food Waste Index report — which measured food waste at the consumer and retail level across more than 100 countries — found that over a trillion dollars worth of food gets thrown out every year, from households to grocery stores to farms, all across the globe.

Such waste takes a significant toll on the environment. The process of producing food — the raising of animals, the land and water use, and the subsequent pollution that goes with it — is horribly intensive on the planet. Food waste squanders those efforts, and then makes it worse: as it rots in landfills, it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Food waste alone is responsible for an estimated 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. To put that into perspective, if food waste were a country, it would be third in emissions produced, behind only the United States and China.

Perhaps the most immediate harm, though, is the more than 780 million people who went hungry around the world in 2022, even as hundreds of billions of meals were wasted that same year. The world has become more efficient at producing a lot of food, so much so that there's more than enough to go around for everyone. But in 2022, nearly 30 percent of people were moderately or severely food insecure, defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization as lacking regular access to safe and nutritious food.

Food waste reduction is "an opportunity to reduce costs and to tackle some of the biggest environmental and social issues of our time: fighting climate change and addressing food insecurity," the authors of the report write.

Food waste might seem like an easy problem to solve — just stop wasting food. But in order to snuff food waste out, individuals, businesses, and policymakers alike will need to make some serious changes — and those changes will look different for each country. Global food waste is not just a consumer-level problem, but also a nasty side effect of inefficient food systems that have environmental and social implications.

The UN has the goal of slashing food waste in half by 2030. For that to happen, the authors of the Food Waste Index say there's one crucial step all countries need to do: data collection. You can't stop wasting food until you know how much food you're wasting.

How do you measure food waste?

According to the report — which was spearheaded by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and co-authored by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a UK-based climate organization — households contributed to 60 percent of all food waste generated globally in 2022, compared to nearly 28 percent for food service and a little under 13 percent for retailers. However, it's important to note that there was a lot more usable data for food waste in households than there was for food service or retail — and that's especially true for low-income and middle-income countries.

Juan Matute
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