Food Loss: Embarrassing Figures

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Food Loss: Embarrassing Figures
Fecha de publicación: 
29 October 2023

“The food we throw into trash bins is immorally torn from the hands of those who lack it.” This is how Pope Francis wrote to the director general of FAO, Qu Dongyu, on the occasion of the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste.

It was last September, but the reality remains exactly the same; it was before and, painfully, it seems that it will continue that way.

About 14% of the food produced worldwide, equivalent to 400 billion dollars annually, is lost after being harvested and before reaching stores.

At the same time, another 17% of that production—some 931 million tons of food—ends up in trash bins, both from markets and from consumers. A good part of this unfortunate waste takes place especially in homes.

This is how the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) communicates, and it’s even more shocking when this international entity itself confirms that this year there are 735 million hungry people in the world.

Last year there were 613 million, now more than 100 million have increased that terrible figure, whose darkest indicators appear in Africa, where one out of five people suffers from hunger, more than twice the world average.

The climate crisis, wars, and the pandemic have been the main conditions of this panorama, marked by increasingly serious food crises.

These are scandalous figures that contrast with multimillion-dollar investments for other purposes, sometimes as unhealthy as the arms race.

But even if there were a single hungry human on this planet, it would be reason enough for shame, and also for action.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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