— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on August 14, 2020, Friday.
The problem of food waste can be a very serious global problem and has attracted more and more attention in recent years. How serious is the food problem? Lets have a look over the related data.
According to the FOOD and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1.6 billion tons of food is wasted globally every year, of which 1.3 billion tons are edible. 1.4 billion hectares of land used to produce food each year, or 28% of the world's agricultural area, will eventually be lost or wasted. The direct economic consequences of food waste, excluding fish and seafood, are $750 billion a year.
If the social, environmental and economic impacts are taken into account, the United Nations estimates that food waste costs $2.5 trillion a year. In addition to this massive waste, 820 million people around the world face hunger, or roughly one in nine people.
According to Mercy Corps, an international relief agency, about 9 million people die of hunger each year -- more than die from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. In addition, malnutrition accounts for 45 per cent of deaths among children under five years old. It highlights the importance and necessity of reducing food waste.
Food waste is not a country-specific problem, but a global one. In general, developed countries are much worse off than developing countries, especially North America and Europe. For example, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, United States are all food waste countries on a per capita basis. Although China's per capita waste is lower than many developed countries, because of its large population base, the total amount is also quite a lot.
Food waste may occur in all aspects of production, supply and consumption, so it also needs to be addressed in a targeted manner. From the point of view of ordinary people, reducing the waste of terminals is the most direct and effective way. In the United States, more than half of all waste occurs in households, with the average household throwing away $1,500 worth of food each year. The United States has set a national goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. The UN report has also talked about reducing food waste. Many countries have their own incentive policies, and cross-border cooperation is also a solution.
This year, the impact of the epidemic and natural disasters in many parts of the world has made the problem of food supply particularly acute. Therefore, we all need to actively work together to reduce food waste.