“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

Global Food Waste: 900 Million Tonnes Each Year

Emily Davies reports on alarming new figures surrounding food waste.

A fleet of tampons rest against a baby blue background

Photo by Joshua Hoehne

How much of your food ends up in the bin? Vegetables that you forgot were in the fridge, cheese that goes off before you have the chance to eat it, the yoghurt you picked up in the shop and never felt like eating. What about the bread which seems to go mouldy after you’ve eaten two slices?

The UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index shows that 900 million tonnes of food are thrown away annually – that’s 17% of all food available to consumers. That number consists of the bread, cheese and vegetables you and your friends and your friends’ friends discard every week. It also contains all the food waste from your favourite restaurant and takeaway. It’s also all the weirdly shaped carrots and off-colour bananas in shops that you don’t want to buy because they don’t look good. 

Over seven billion people live on this planet, and 925 million of them are starving. The food we waste every year is equivalent to 23 million trucks of food – enough to feed almost three billion people.