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Recent reports suggest that food wastage is on the increase and now accounts for about 50% of what is purchased.
I may be looking at this from the wrong perspective but - does it really matter?
The food that has been wasted has been paid for.
The food that has been wasted is being recycled.
If the food that has been wasted isn't recycled it is readily bio-degraded.
The food that is wasted cannot be used in most cases to help countries that are suffering famine.
So who actually suffers from food wastage? Certainly not the people who produce it, transport it or sell it.
I know I'm probably missing a fundamental point here and certainly wastage should be frowned on.
Arguably if the 50% of food that is at present wasted was not purchased it would have an adverse effect on the economy and employment?
A lot of the food wasted comes before it even gets to the shop, especaly with third world farming. Also the supermarkets often used to reject food because it did not meet the size/colour specs now they are selling it as 'ugly fruit and veg' which really makes the consumer want it!.
I heard on the radio this morning that wild bears will spend hours catching fish ... but only take one bite from each one caught, then chuck the perfectly edible remainder of the fish away.I suppose modern day deep-sea fishermen in very big boats do something similar [discards] to keep within the permitted catch law.
This is an issue that raises more questions than answers. Its a subject that includes the government, multi-nations, farmers, importers and those queuing at a late evening soup kitchen.
In landfills, thousand if not millions of tons of food go to waste, and some industries are having to pay a 'fine' for this, when other industries do not.
Possibly off subject, but I knew of a number of cases were 'homeless' people use to visit the back-door of fast food type places, and receive an hand-out. This practise no longer seems to occur, because the company or individual owner hasn't the time or are concerned about possible repercussions!.
That 'one bite' is usually the most rewarding survival and nourishment part of the fish. Other animals may then have the pleasure of the rejects. So its a win situation except for the fish in question.
Regarding the 'discards', this is a utter disgrace, and most fisherman with back this statement,,especially those that have exceeded their quotas on that trip. Throwing quite edible fish or other marine life back, in the main result in the fish or marine life dying.
Pine Man - You are not taking into account then energy needed to produce and distribute the food. Fertilisers require energy to be produced. The production of all food (meat or vegetable or grain) requires the use of energy (including quantities of fossil fuels). If a significant amount of the food produced is wasted then the energy has also been wasted.
"So who actually suffers from food wastage?"
We all do, as Woolwell points out. Apart from the cost of producing and distributing food that is subsequently thrown away, there are the costs involved in packaging and storage. Big chilling stores for fresh foodstuffs cost a fortune to run, and there are the costs for refrigeration in supermarkets and private homes.
Apart from the cost of producing and distributing food that is subsequently thrown away, there are the costs involved in packaging and storage.
All these costs are paid for by the consumer. The only loser is the consumer.
"All these costs are paid for by the consumer. The only loser is the consumer."
Forgive me for saying that's a rather naive view.
All the costs of everything that's sold in the retail sector are met at the point of sale by the consumer, but that's not the point. Consumers get their money from employment, or from the public purse, or a mixture of both.
If consumers are buying food and subsequently throwing it away they are paying from disposable income, and as their food expenditure rises (due to food wastage) they will demand more income from employers(or from the public purse)to fund the wastage. That leads to higher production and wholesale costs, and those costs are defrayed by higher selling prices in the shops - we all pay those costs, so, as I said earlier, in answer to your question, we all pay the cost of food that is thrown away.
You say "the only loser is the consumer", but in doing so you fail to realise that we are all consumers - we all lose in the end.
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