(Phys.org) Presented in the journal Science of the Total Environment, the findings indicate that reducing loss and waste percentages could result in a 50 % cut in food supply losses, and in turn help feed another one billion people. This would lead to heightened food security.
For the first time ever, researchers led by Aalto University in Finland have proved a valid estimation for the number of people that could be fed if food waste is reduced. Slashing losses by half would provide food from natural resources for an additional one billion in a world whose population is around seven billion. The researchers say this is possible if the lowest loss percentage achieved in any region could be reached on a global level.
‘There isn’t enough clean water everywhere on Earth,’ said Dr Matti Kummu at Aalto University. ‘Significantly more agricultural land cannot be cleared as well as certain raw material minerals for fertilizers are running low. At the same time, a quarter of the amount of calories in produced food is lost or wasted at different stages of food production chain, which results in unnecessary resources loss.’
The researchers analyzed the effect of food losses and its relationship to resources globally. Each year, food losses amount to 27 cubic metres of clean water, 0.031 hectares of agricultural land and 4.3 kilos of fertilizers per inhabitant.