World food waste statistics


Tons of food lost or wasted

Globally, this year

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Tons of food lost or wasted

Globally, this year

By TheWorldCounts

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We waste so much food that...
it’s hard to believe! This contributes to excess consumption of freshwater and fossil fuels. One ton of food waste prevented can save 4.2 tons of CO2 equivalent.

Top 3 facts about food wasted


A mind-blowing potential

The food wasted by the United States and Europe alone could feed the world 3 times over.


Food waste = water waste

Food production requires water. In the United States, food waste accounts for 25 percent of the country's water use. Throwing food away is like leaving the tap running in the country where the food was produced - and an increasing number of areas are suffering from water shortages.


We must re-connect with the effects of our consumption

Some people show alarming levels of ignorance with regard to food-related issues. In a survey, most urban consumers who were interviewed did not realize that meat and dairy come from living animals that use natural resources.

Food wasted

This number includes losses that occur at every step in the production of food. In fields food is lost due to crop pests and diseases. Food is also lost because of inefficient harvesting methods, transportation and storage. And food is wasted through the deliberate discarding of food in shops, supermarkets, and households. Finally food is “lost” when fed to farm animals because only a small percentage of the calories fed to animals are transformed into meat. We haven’t been able to find data on total food wasted worldwide so the counter is based on the following rough estimations: UK households waste 8.3 million tons of food every year. Household food waste is around 30 percent of total food waste. UK share of world GDP is around 3.77 percent. If it is assumed that all countries waste food similar to the UK (in terms of waste per GDP), total food waste is about 716,000,000 tons a year worldwide equivalent to more than 22 tons every second or 1 kilo of food every day to almost 2 billion people - double the number of people that is currently suffering from hunger! If you know of more accurate data on worldwide food waste please let us know.

A mind-blowing potential

Food waste = water waste

We must re-connect with the effects of our consumption

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