Previous studies indicate that Americans waste as much as 40 per cent... of the food that is produced or purchased. Globally, the figure is about 30 per cent of the food supply... Today, one in nine people around the world lack sufficient food, while 14 percent of Americans experience food insecurity, living without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
“In a world of limited resources and growing populations, it’s past time to stop dumping our good food in the landfill... Cutting food waste in half is doable, and public health is part of the solution.”
To curtail food waste in higher income countries, measures like clarifying food date labels could go a long way. Consumers are often confused by “use by,” “best by” and “sell by” dates on food packaging and thus toss out perfectly good food... In addition, creating markets for so-called “ugly” produce – bruised peaches, nicked potatoes – could minimize food waste while increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
In lower- and middle-income countries, the priority is to improve infrastructure so food doesn’t begin to spoil while being shipped from farms to its final destinations... While most food waste reduction approaches benefit the public’s health, some strategies can be damaging. Recovering food that would otherwise be wasted is generally a win-win for food security and waste prevention. But donated food should meet recipient needs, not only those of donors to get rid of it...
Original article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0647