Food is one of the basic needs for living things. While some are going hungry in some parts of the globe especially in many African nations where they face adverse climate change leading to famine, floods and drought, others are wasting away this essential basic need. Food wastage is common in all circles, home, farms and industrial establishments commonly experience this problem. Perishable foods commonly go to waste if they remain unused just for a few days. This is occasioned by poor storage facilities among other factors. The prevalence of food wastage varies in different countries. It is based on availability of food and the storage mechanisms in place where the food is used. Here is a list of top 10 countries with the highest rate of food wastage.
According to national statistics, over 620 kilograms of food per person go to waste in Norway. This is despite the fact that the country mostly imports food products from other countries. Only 3% of the country land is under cultivation a portion that is not enough to feed its population. Despite this, baked food, rotten fruits and vegetables area common sight in most dustbins in the country. These account to a total of 335,000 tons of food going to waste in the country. Households and eateries are known to be the biggest contributors to this trash alongside offices and recreation parks. Fresh foods and fruit dealers with poor storage facilities also add their contribution to the wastage.
Taking the ninth position in food wastage is Canada. It is estimated that each person in the country wastes an average of 640 kgs of food. This translates to 17.5 million tones of waste food being produced by the nation. Making a sizeable percentage of the waste in the country, the food waste is also deemed to be an environmental threat in the country. Toronto one of the major cities in the country is considered to be the most affected area in food wastage. Domestic kitchens are listed as the leading contributors to this wastage, these are followed closely by hotels and other eateries and vendors are also on the list.
In Denmark, consumption of packed and unpacked foods is embraced and a long running tradition. This comes alongside excessive wastage of the same. This is a factor contributed by the high food imports by the country that contributes only 2% of its own food and the rest is in imports. Statistics indicate that each person in Denmark wastes an average of 660 kg of food. This wastage translates to over 700,000 tons increasing the government’s burden in waste management. Households and catering establishments are known to be the biggest contributors to the wastage in the country. To curb the situation, the government and environmental groups are currently running the Stop Wasting Movement, a campaign aimed at reducing food wastage and one that is bearing fruits.
With its high population, Australia also suffers from massive food wastage. This places it in the seventh position among the countries with highest food waste. Both packed and fresh foods find a place in the wastebaskets in homes and hotels alike. The situation is considered to be aggravated by the high population of youngsters who are fond of throwing away leftovers and keeping packed foods for long exceeding their shelf life. A common practice in the country where traders and consumers reject foods before they land into the market only works to aggravate the situation. So grave is the situation that the government spends approximately $8 million in an effort to manage food waste.
6. United States of America
United States is the world’s most populous country. With its high population, the country is also one of the biggest food producers and importer across the globe. Alongside this, America is known to be among the countries where fast foods are embraced by a wide population. Right from the farms to the catering point, the country experiences numerous wastage of food. It is estimated that almost half of the food produced in the country goes to waste. This means that every individual in the country wastes an approximated 760 kgs of food that translates to $1,600. The waste is attributed to production of harmful gases that contribute to global warming as well as posing a health risk to residents.
Taking the fifth position among the countries that waste numerous amounts of food is Finland. It is estimated that each individual in the country wastes an average of 550 kgs of food. This includes both packed foods as well as fresh produce. Restaurant, hotels and cafes are considered to be the biggest waste contributors in the country. Homes and other domestic establishments follow in the list of waste production and the dealers follow in the rank.
Singapore is an island state. It gets most of its food through imports. However, the big investment in importing this precious basic commodity ends up as waste. According to statistics. It is estimated that 13% of all the foods bought in the country goes to waste. With the high rate at which food is wasted, the government and other agencies have started measures to manage the situation among them establishing recycling measures. However, this only manages to recycle only 13% of the food leaving the rest to go to waste. Despite this research indicates that the amount of food waste in the country continues to grow by each year.
Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is one among the countries that rely on agriculture to support its economy. Despite this, there are high incidences of food wastage experienced in the country. Statistics indicate that each citizen wastes an average of 540 to 560 kgs of food. Fruits and vegetables top the list of foods that are common in dustbins alongside a variety of packed and baked foods. With the escalating situation and the growing population, the authorities are keen to invest heavily to curb the situation. This is a measure aimed at ensuring food security alongside reducing the toxins that affect the environment from waste foods.
Germany is among the countries with high populations on the globe. With this, the rate of food wastage is equally high. Estimates indicate that an average German waste over 80 kgs of food every year. Household kitchens are the biggest contributors to the waste alongside commercial eateries. Retail outlets for fresh produce and packed foods also contribute to the waste with poor storage facilities and outdated stocks of packed foods. In recent times, there are movements keen to establish a tradition to conserve food through informative websites and other forms of media.
1. United Kingdom
United Kingdom is one of the leading countries that produce foods for its domestic consumption. Its production accounts for over 60% while the rest is imported. Of its total food, the country has a waste that exceeds 6.7 million tons annually which is a cost of 10.2 billion per year. To curb the losses, the country has in place measures that include campaigns to educate consumers on food wastage reduction such includes ‘love food hate wastage’ which has so far managed to reduce wastage by 137,000 tons.
Food wastage is a global problem and should be treated that way especially when we have cases of starvation in some parts of the world. Measures to reduce wastage are required and this will not only save the countries millions but as well improve on environmental management. The top 10 countries with highest rate of food wastage are among the developed nations and hence they have capacity to employ measures to curb the situation.