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Where operations meet ethics.

31 July 2015

Food waste is not only ethically unacceptable, but also causes huge environmental damage

A study by the Barilla Foundation finds disturbing data for our modern society.

One billion tons of food is wasted every year: that’s the shocking result of an analysis published by the Barilla Foundation. Hence the desire to launch a project to stop the waste by 2020 and to improve the environmental, economic and ethical conditions of the whole planet.
Waste produces 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide and squanders $1 trillion a year.

If food waste was a nation, it would the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after China and the United States. A worrying trend is that the rich countries, which have until now been the major producers of food waste, have been joined by previously developing countries with booming economies.

The global situation is changing fast but there is still a lack of awareness about food waste, which is exacerbating the problem. But even though individual attitudes and habits demonstrate unacceptable levels of selfishness, it’s not too late for people to mend their ways.

Beyond the responsibility directly attributable to producers and the market, every individual consumer needs to accept their share of the problem, which is both social and cultural as well as economic. Unless we take drastic collective action now the problem could simply overwhelm us. We need to tackle the issue in smart, practical ways.

When we waste food we hurt not only ourselves but the planet as a whole. Waste causes both immediate problems as well as lasting damage. The food we buy but do not eat could feed 795 million people. In Europe alone the products that end up in the bin could feed 200 million. That’s not pie in the sky, but it is food for thought – and action.


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