Reducing Food Waste Helps Fight Climate Change


Reducing wasted food would probably help lower dangerous emissions into the atmosphere and slow down climate change, according to experts. Over 15% of  emissions from farming and agriculture could be avoided if we managed our food supplies better. About 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide comes from food waste.

A third of the food produced worldwide is never eaten. It gets spoilt during day-long transport or in shops. Huge amounts of food are also thrown away by consumers, who often buy too many things which they do not eat. While the demand for food per person has stayed the same in the last decades, more and more food is available.

Richer countries waste more food than poorer ones. According to farming experts,  more and more food is wasted in growing Asian economies, like India and China. As people become richer they also adopt to western eating habits.

It is not only important to waste less food but also to get food to the  places where it is needed, where people do not have enough to eat or farming conditions are bad.

Heads of governments and agriculture ministers from around the world have recently met to discuss ways in which food waste can be reducedCurrently, we are producing 20% more food than we actually need. With such a surplus we could feed another 1.5 billion people. On the other side, over 800 million people suffer from undernourishment.


Another suggestion mentioned by food experts is to cut back on eating meat. More meat is eaten in richer countries, thus producing more greenhouse gases because producing meat is more energy intensive.


Food waste

Food waste - Image: Muu-karhu


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  • according to = as said by ...
  • actually = really
  • adopt = get used to , change to
  • atmosphere = the mixture of gases around the earth
  • available = something that can be bought or used
  • billion = a thousand million
  • carbon dioxide = gas that is formed when carbon is burned or when people breathe out
  • climate change = changes in the world's weather because it is getting warmer
  • condition = situation, method
  • consumer = person who buys something in a shop
  • currently = at the moment, now
  • cut back = reduce
  • decade = ten years
  • demand = need something that is sold
  • economy = here: state, country
  • emission = sending out dangerous gases etc... into the atmosphere
  • energy intensive = it needs more energy
  • food supplies = the food we produce and eat
  • greenhouse gases = the gases that get into the atmosphere like carbon dioxide ; they cause climate change and the rise of temperature
  • heads of government = the people who lead countries
  • huge = very large
  • lower = reduce , to make smaller
  • manage = deal with , control
  • mention = point out, refer to
  • recently = a short time ago
  • reduce = to make a smaller amount
  • spoil = when somehting is no longer good enough to eat
  • surplus = more than is needed
  • thus = that is why
  • undernourishment = situation in which people do not have enough to eat
  • waste = unwanted material