12 Apr 2018

INTERNATIONAL EARTH DAY, BCFN: FOOD WASTE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NEARLY 8% OF GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

• We are eating the Earth's resources: we consume more than the Planet is able to produce

• For the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, food waste is one of the main causes of pollution and natural resource erosion: the water used to produce food that is not eaten is equivalent to the water flow of the river Volga

• If we want to achieve the Sustainability Goals and UN Agenda 2030, we need to rethink our relationship with food




The Earth's natural resources? We are literally eating them! In 2017, we consumed more natural resources than the Planet was able to reintroduce in a year. Since 3 August, we have been living 'on credit', that is using resources that were never replaced. Most of the resources were used to produce food, even though 1/3 of that food was lost or wasted, generating nearly 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions1 . In fact, if food waste was a country, only China and the United States would2 fare worse for greenhouse gas emissions. However, food waste is also problematic for “over exploiting the land”, as much land is used to plant food that no one eats in the end. Reducing this waste could save up to 1.4 billion hectares of land (that is, 30% of available agricultural surface3). This phenomenon is also a form of social harm, with an impact on several of the great challenges set by the UN Agenda 2030: world hunger, responsible production and consumption, economic growth. One thing is for sure: if we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we have to recast the way we consume and produce food. In a nutshell, this is the position of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN), announced for the International Earth Day on 22 April 2018. 

"Food production, overexploitation of Earth resources, and food waste are all factors keeping us away from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. If we are aiming for 'zero hunger', we cannot forget that the impact of food loss and waste in developed countries is estimated at 222 million tons4 of food, almost the entire agricultural production available in Sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons ). If we want to save our waters, we cannot ignore that food waste generates water waste that is equivalent to the annual water flow of the river Volga in Russia5 . In other words, if we want to improve and preserve the Planet we live in, we need to start from our relationship with food, the way we produce it and what we eat" , explains Ludovica Principato, researcher at the BCFN Foundation and Rome Tre University


FRANCE, GERMANY AND SPAIN ARE THE COUNTRIES WITH THE SMALLEST FOOD WASTE. INDONESIA, LEBANON ED EMIRATES ARE THE FARTHEST BEHIND

According to FAO, 45% of fruits and vegetable around the world is wasted. Waste is an industrial phenomenon, caused by unfavorable climate and environmental factors and by production surpluses, but also a household issue, because we can't store food well or buy too much of it. In Europe, nearly 42%6  of what we buy ends up in the bin, because our food spoiled or passed its sell by date before being eaten. Some countries, however, are making strides in the fight against bad food management. According to the Food Sustainability Index7, France, Germany and Spain, more than any other country, have made real progress in food waste reduction. At the other end of the spectrum, Indonesia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates need to make the most significant efforts to overcome this problem. 

Italy stands out for the steps it took in the fight against food waste: if we compare the 2016 Index with the one recorded in 2017, the item “Food waste (% of the country's total food production)” – concerning the food industry rather than household consumption - we moved from 3.58% of food wasted to 2.3% in 2017. This virtuous shift has to do with new policies, such as the Gadda Law, which simplified procedures to give away unsold food and promoted the recovery of food for donation to the needy. The biggest efforts, however, will need to focus on household waste. Every year, Italians throw away on average 145kg of food per head, more than consumed on average by a 3-people household in a year, while the fruits and vegetables binned in shops account for the waste of over 73 million cubic meters of water (used for their production), that is 36.5 billion 2-liter bottles8

FOOD SUSTAINABILITY MEDIA AWARD: AN AWARD TO REPORT FOOD PARADOXES

Once again, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is also about our food choices and requires raising awareness of the impact that producing our food has on the environment. This is why the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition and the Thomson Reuters Foundation co-launched the Food Sustainability Media Award, a project that rewards journalists, bloggers, freelance writers and emerging talents who were able to give visibility to the paradoxes of our food systems, proposing practical solutions to make our food choices more sustainable. The award features two categories: print journalism and multimedia (videos - short films and animation - audio and photos). A new, unpublished work and a published piece will be rewarded in each category, winning respectively 10,000 Euro and a media training course on food sustainability organized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The winning new works will also be published on the TRF and BCFN websites, and will be distributed by the Reuters Press Agency, which boasts over one billion readers. The finalist works will be shortlisted for the “Best of the web” award, which is chosen directly by the online audience. Entries can be submitted from January 15 to May 31, 2018, by registering for the competition on the website of the Food Sustainability Media Award

 1 CAIT, 2015

 2 FAO, 2014

 3 FAO, 2013

 4 Gustavsson et al., 2011

 5 FAO, 2013

 6 Intelligence Service 2010

 7 Index developed by BCFN in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit that analyzes the sustainability of the food system in 34 countries which make up 87% of the global GDP and 2/3 of the world's population

 8 Source: FAO


BCFN PRESS OFFICE c/o INC ISTITUTO NAZIONALE PER LA COMUNICAZIONE

Simone Silvi - Senior Account Media Relations - s.silvi@inc-comunicazione.it - +39 335.10.97.279

Mariagrazia Martorana - Media Relations Consultant - m.martorana@inc-comunicazione.it - +39 333.57.61.268


PRESS OFFICE CONTACTS

Luca Di Leo, Head of Media Relations, luca.dileo@barillacfn.com , +39 0521 2621

Valentina Gasbarri, Communication and External Relations Manager, valentina.gasbarri@barillacfn.com , +39 338 7882700


This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.   Read moreI agree