Elimination of Food Waste Could Lift 1bn Out of Hunger

Eliminating food waste could have a number of beneficial, and potentially multiplicative, effects. First, if a quarter of the amount of food typically thrown away annually in the US and UK was instead redistributed globally to the poor, this action could lift over a billion people out of the hunger. Second, by reducing food waste, consumption would decline, thereby lowering demand and thus prices, which would also have a beneficial effect on the poor: food would become more affordable. Third, lowering food waste could lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon footprint of producing, transporting, and storing unused food. Other salutary effects could include better water management as the strain on irrigation would be mitigated. While such proposals paint a rosy picture of the benefits from reducing food waste, what is missing are the ramifications of lower food consumption on the global economy. Are the benefits of lower food waste enough to offset the costs of lower profits and follow-on effects? Moreover, would the traditional cost/benefit analysis be able to account for the benefits of ending hunger? – YaleGlobal

Elimination of Food Waste Could Lift 1bn Out of Hunger

Excessive consumption in rich countries 'takes food out of mouths of poor' by inflating food prices on global market
Adam Vaughan
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

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