The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Hunger Agency estimate that every family wastes 63.3 kilograms of bread each year.
In fact, a staggering 17% of all the food produced in the world ends up in the garbage. For the year 2022, this number is expected to continue to grow, as food industry sales increase year after year.
Most of the waste (61%) occurs in our homes, followed by food services, while shops produce a smaller percentage. The percentage of food waste produced by households is similar across all countries, showing that this is not merely a problem affecting the wealthiest countries
What happens in Chile?
In Chile, more than 1.62 million tons of food are thrown away and the FAO estimates that 20% of this waste occurs at points of sale, such as cafeterias, restaurants and fast food outlets.
What food products do Chileans waste ? 44.1% is prepared food, 24.4% is vegetables and 12.9% is bread. Of those who participated in the surveys, more than half stated that they forgot that the food was there. However, almost a third noted that they lose between $6,000 and $10,000 a month in wasted food.
Beyond the statistics, there are a range of initiatives in Chile to raise awareness and reduce this problem. Currently, there are two food banks, which are responsible for rescuing, managing and storing food that is fit for consumption. A National Committee has been set up to prevent food waste and more than 60 public and private representatives and different organizations are working together in a united and collaborative manner to try to make progress with this situation.
A bill to modify the Sanitary Code in the area of food disposal to avoid waste (Bulletin No. 10198-11) has been under discussion by the Chamber of Deputies’ Health Committee since August 2020. The bill contains a provision whereby commercial establishments that offer prepared food must give their customers the opportunity to take uneaten food home with them. It also bans the destruction of food that is not marketable but is still fit for human consumption and establishes the obligation for supermarkets with a surface area of 100m2 to donate food that has packaging defects or is at or near its expiry date for use in animal feed or the production of agricultural compost.
El desafío es grande, pero ya existe la voluntad de comenzar a hacerse cargo de esta mal llamada basura. No basta solo con darle una “segunda vida” a los alimentos ya producidos, sino lograr que no se produzca más de lo que se necesita. Lograr acortar esa brecha es tarea de todos. El medioambiente lo siente y resiente. Lo que uno contamina nos afecta a todos. Los invitamos a unirse a este desafío. ¿Salvamos el planeta comiendo?