August 25, 2008

Int’L Agencies Urges Reducing Food Waste

Int'l agencies urges reducing food waste

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Three international agencies said on Thursday that the whole world must reduce food waste by half by 2015 to meet the challenge of water and food shortage.

This call was made by UN Food and Agricultural Organization ( FAO), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) during World Water Week, currently taking place in Stockholm.

Tremendous quantities of food are discarded in processing, transport, supermarkets and people's kitchens, the agencies said in a joint report "Saving Water: From Field to Fork -- Curbing Losses and Wastage in the Food Chain."

In poorer countries, a majority of uneaten food is lost before it has a chance to be consumed. In richer countries, production is more efficient but waste is greater. In the United States, for instance, as much as 30 percent of food, worth some 48.3 billion U. S. dollars, is thrown away. "That's like leaving the tap running and pouring 40 trillion liters of water into the garbage can."

The agencies said policy makers, industry, universities and society should work together to reduce waste.

"Improving water productivity and reducing the quantity of food that is wasted can enable us to provide a better diet for the poor and enough food for growing populations," said Jan Lundqvist, a professor at the SIWI. "Reaching the target we propose, a 50 percent reduction of losses and wastage in the production and consumption chain, is a necessary and achievable goal."

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