The majority of discarded food in food retal industry is still edible. According to several studies main reasons for the wastage are:

  • Expiration of best before date or sell-by date
  • full shelves till closing time
  • damage of perishable foods, i.e. compressed fruits
  • overlaps by means of incalculatable buying behaviour
  • careless storage, damages through transportation

The food retail industry already charges consumers for this “colateral damage” in their product prices; thus, the consumer pays the waste. The word “waste” seems fitting, because wasted food no longer fulfils its true purpose at this point. And as if that isn’t enough, the ecological issue comes on top of this financial waste. Until the point-of-sale, produced food has often had a long refining process and life-cycle, respectively. Especially in the case of meat and other animal products. Approximately 10kg of feed and additional related resources have to be expended for 1 kg of meat. Many resources are therefore needed in advance to produce food.

Back to the topic: how much we really need food produced on today’s scale is an entirely different matter. Definitely, all food (!) processed by food industry and agribusiness leaves an ecological “footprint” in terms of land use, water consumption, energy consumption by processing machines and cooling, climate relevant emissions from soils and exhausts from transportation. The list could go on.