Study: Half the World’s Food Gets Thrown Away

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That pear looks perfectly edible. Photo: iStock Photo

Here's your depressing statistic of the week: 30 to 50 percent of the world's food is wasted each year, amounting to some 2 billion metric tons of grain, vegetables, and meat thrown in the garbage. These numbers come from a new study by the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers, reported on this week in the Guardian. In the First World, the primary reason for food waste is consumers' tastes for unblemished produce and retail guidelines that enforce overly conservative sell-by dates. In the developing world, food is thrown out mainly owing to spoilage, which could be helped by improved infrastructure and distribution systems. But basically, people wouldn't be going hungry if more were being done to keep good food out of the trash bin, and the world is dumb. The end. [Guardian UK, CNN]