Live Chat: Food Price Watch - How much food do you waste?
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Live Chat: Food Price Watch - How much food do you waste?

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
HORA: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. ET (14:00 – 15:00 GMT or convert time)


The chat has concluded. View the replay below!


Millions of tons of food go missing annually — between one-quarter and one-third of all food produced for human consumption, globally, is either wasted or lost. In Latin America, for example, where millions of children are chronically malnourished, 15% of the food produced each year, or about 80 million tons, goes to waste — and this is the region that wastes the least amount of food. In developed countries, this proportion may reach more than a third of total food production. In developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, an average family of four wastes $1,600 and $1,100 worth of food per year, respectively, and this number appears to have increased over time.

How many times a week do you throw leftovers or expired food away? How much food do you think actually makes it from the producer to your local market?

World Bank: Up To One Third of Food Wasted or Lost

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Senior Economist, Poverty, World Bank
Read what others are asking
Vangile Titi
South Africa
How true is the argument that retailers would rather throw away food than lower prices and how have other countries addressed this malady, if it exists at all?
manuela alboreto
Sri Lanka
The argument you propose it is very interesting. I am Italian, leaving in Sri Lanka. I am owner of small guest house. Here where I leave, we have animals, garden and nature life more than Italy, so we don't waste to much food. We make compost for plant too! BUT... when I was in Italy, in Milano, I was teacher and in that time I try to reduce the waste for what was possible... BUT,the bureaucracy of the low block me many time My English it is not excellent ... Example: every day in the government school a lot of food, specially bread and milk , was lost. My idea was to collect it every day and personally bring to a "dogs recovering"... I don't say Hospital or others government structure,,, just for some dogs in a house with a volontair care them.... = PROHIBIT incredible! Thanks to give a space to say this Manuela Alboreto
Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
At our locality, we waste 'Zero' food. The reason being many follow the concept called limited daily food consumption. However, it's been observed that it's the five star or above hotels those who waste more food. What can be done? Another observation is wastage of food while they are stored, even 1% of 100 million metric tonnes become 1 million metric tonne of waste, if we take case of India. Don't you feel immidiate action is required on it? What could be the modified role of the World Bank in future when it comes to all these activities?
Che Thuy Nhu
Dear Webmaster This time in Vietnam peasants sell vegetable, tomato with very low price. In same place they let it in the field In Russia peasants learn keep vegetable with salt and cold in BIG warehouse .They sell in the SHOPS dung ring winter time .Keep food when price down and sell when price increasing help regular price in all society .We need the knowledge in this area to teach peasants . Thank you
Its interesting with that number of food that been wasted. So huge i think. Its ironical, when in the other part of this earth, many children are malnourished but in the others we waste huge amount of food. In my country, indonesia, even in the area wich include in wealthiest province in term of natural resources, still many of children are malnourished. I dont know why whether its related to food-waste behavior or poorly distribution of wealth. I am a general practitioners, not an economy expert. I just see phenomenas that happen around me. And I need more explanaton the direct relation (or indirect) of this food-waste behavior. Thanks
Fethi S. OZBEK
The excess food consumption should be included into the term of "food loss and waste" as it is both loss and waste. Therefore, must also be combatted excessive food consumption in order to prevent food insecurity.
Ernest Kreutzer
Fast food is waste food flowing ,slow food is no waste food ! Have you plans to implement slow food mainly in poor country ?
Klaas Johan Osinga
food is too valuable to be wasted. So isn't the real problem that food is too cheap? If farmers get a proper price for what they produce, the whole food chain would probably invest more resources to avoid wastage.
United Kingdom
Would you agree that the only way this can be solved is by raising incomes in the developing world? This will increase their purchasing power and mean that food which might be wasted would be redirected through market forces to where it is currently needed. Of course this will mean that food will be relatively more expensive in the developed world. This higher price will force retailers and consumers to waste less food because wasted food now costs more. Of course this has its own set of political problems for developed nations.
Guilherme Melo
How to spend less food and which way to spend less food? I´n Brazil people don´t care, like if don´t exist nobody hungry in the WORLD. If you say that you want to help, there are no institution to help! How to spend less is easy, but how to help who need?
Robert Yamins
United States
How exactly was it determined how much food is wasted around the world ,i.e. by what methodology? The news articles don't say, nor have I found the full report where some of the articles said it would be. I am unable to attend the live chat and thus would be grateful for an answer by email if possible. Please also do not assume doubt on my part because I asked this question. I am most interested in this problem. Thank you for any information.
Ruella Munro
Comment: World Bank should focus initiatives on developing people to sustainable produce, use and maximize their food. This may involve initiatives such as education of the community (eg. youth), development and funding for businesses for needs such as improvement of their intellectual capacity, facilities (eg. refrigeration storage), their businesses and marketing capacity and their exporting capacity. In addition, helping people to have a mind set to recycle and maximize the use of things that they acquire (eg. composting food left overs), or even giving to those in need instead of discarding. Then more specifically to households, people need to learn management skills of their resources so that they would not under or exceed their needs unnecessarily.
Mina Westendorp
From your article I learned that in developed countries 56% of all food produced for human consumption is going to waste. Out of which over half is wasted by the consumer. I see that lots is to gain in creating awareness and changing mindset. Once awareness is created, like in my case, what are ways in which consumers in these developed countries can minimize the amounts of food going to waste?
Hello! I am coming from one of the countries that still can be proud of having good conditions for healthy and good quality food production. Since we are about to join EU soon which determinates our agriculture policy in EU and global terms, and as US dictates almost all the food trends in the world, can we belive that Montenegro can maintain healthy food culture in the future? I am aware that these answers are hard to obtain, even from the people that create such policies but I am just wondering why people want to produce unhelathy food instead of enjoyng good one. However, all these trends seem to be very likely to happen everywhere... Although I am both happy and enthusiastic about joining EU and other unions world wide, I am sad that my children and grandchildren won't have as much as I had in my childhood-healthy environment.
United Kingdom
#foodwaste, why can't tougher restrictions with targets be imposed on countries who waste lot of food?.
Koushik Chatterjee
The amount of annual food wastage in India could feed more than 60 percent poor and hungry.