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Households waste 1B meals a day – UN

PARIS: Households around the world threw away 1 billion meals every single day in 2022 in what the United Nations on Wednesday called a «global tragedy» of food waste.

More than $1 trillion worth of food was binned by households and businesses at a time when nearly 800 million people were going hungry, the UN's latest Food Waste Index Report says.

It said that more than 1 billion tonnes of food — almost one-fifth of all the produce available on the market — was wasted in 2022, most of it by households.

«Food waste is a global tragedy. Millions will go hungry today as food is wasted across the world,» Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), said in a statement.

Such wastage was not just a moral but «environmental failure,» the report said.

Food waste produces five times the planet-heating emissions of the aviation sector and requires huge tracts of land to be converted for growing crops that are never eaten.

The report, co-authored with nonprofit organization WRAP, is just the second on global food waste compiled by the UN and provides the most complete picture to date.


As data collection has improved, the true scale of the problem has become much clearer, said Clementine O'Connor from UNEP.

«The more food waste you look for, the more that you find,» she told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Billion meals binned

The report said that the «billion meals» figure was a «very conservative estimate» and «the real amount could be much higher.» «For me, it's just staggering,» Richard Swannell from WRAP said.


«You could actually feed all the people that are currently hungry in the world — about 800 million people — over a meal a day just from the food that is wasted every single year.» He said bringing together producers and retailers had helped reduce waste and get food to those who need it, and more such action was needed.

Food services like restaurants, canteens and hotels were responsible for 28 percent of all wasted food in 2022, while retail like butchers and greengrocers dumped 12 percent.

But the biggest culprits were households, which accounted for 60 percent — some 631 million tonnes.

Swannell said much of this