Why Save Food

One third of all food produced for human consumption goes to waste. That means that we are poorly managing our food. The value of the work of food banks has three aspects. First, when food is saved, we save all the energy that went into producing that food. Second, when we save food, we are able to stop much greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere as well as saving much space in the landfills. Third, saved food provides a social helping net to the hungry.

According to the FAO UN, “food loss and food waste are symptoms of larger inefficiencies in agrifood systems. Food losses, in particular, have negative impacts on food security and nutrition, as well as on economic development and environmental sustainability. For this reason, prioritizing the reduction of food loss and waste is critical for the transition to sustainable food systems that enhance efficient use of natural resources, lessen planetary impacts and ensure food security and nutrition.

In 2019, emissions from pre- and post-production processes – manufacturing of fertilizers, food processing, packaging, transport, retail, household consumption and food waste disposal – were 5.8 Gt CO2 eq.

In 2019, pre- and post-production processes were also significant emitters of methane (49million tonnes CH4yr−1), mostly generated from the decay of solid food waste in landfills and open dumps. Reducing food loss and waste – which accounts for 8 -10 percent of all GHG emissions – could reduce emissions by 4.5 Gt CO2e per year.

Reducing food loss and waste is a shared responsibility that necessitates the action of stakeholders at all levels: governments; the private sector; civil society; development agencies; research and academic institutions, and consumers. Collaboration is needed at all levels – particularly among the public and private sectors, and with research and development institutions.”