Food Waste: Background information when reading Want Not

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Want Not

By Jonathan Miles

Want Not

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Beyond the Book:
Food Waste

Food waste, one of the key issues underlying Jonathan Miles's Want Not, is a problem that is beginning to draw more attention worldwide. Every year American households and retailers throw away 40 million tons of usable food. In early 2013 the UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers issued a report, entitled "Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not," which estimated that 30-50% of food produced worldwide goes to waste. This is due to a combination of factors including supermarkets' strict aesthetic standards for produce, restaurants' super-sized portions, consumers buying more than they need or not using food in time (often spurred by buy-one-get-one-free deals), and inefficient methods of food harvesting and transportation in developing nations. Compounding the food loss itself is the waste of land, water, and energy used to grow and process it.

Food Waste Meanwhile, over 1 billion people (many of them in Southeast Asia or sub-Saharan Africa) are malnourished. Yet, as Tristram Stuart reveals in ...

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