Latin America Food Waste Can Feed 33% of World’s Hungry Population

Apr 02, 2016 05:53 AM EDT | By Chandan Das

Food Waste
When you prepare to welcome family and friends this holiday season, good planning can help avoid wasting food and save you money.
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A recent report released by the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) stated that Latin America either lost or wasted foods up to 348,000 tons daily. This wastage, according to the global body, was making it difficult to achieve the sustainable development objectives (SDO) in this part of the globe.

The FAO has proposed that the loss must be reduced by half by 2030 at retail as well as consumer level and also in production and distribution chains, Bernama reported.

The report cautioned that unless the alarming figure is reduced by 50 percent, the region cannot achieve the targeted SDO set up in September 2015. It is worth noting that in 2015, the regional governments with the support of FAO established a network of experts, a regional strategy and a regional alliance to prevent as well as reduce food losses and waste of food.

While national panels were created in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic to deal with the issue, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Saint Vincent, Mexico, Peru, and the Grenadines and Uruguay also discussed similar initiatives.

According to a U.N. estimate committee, the food wasted in Latin America could possibly feed over 37 percent of the global population suffering from hunger. The FAO said that this represents 300 million people suffering from hunger worldwide. It further stated that an estimated 36 million people residing in Latin America could fulfill their calorie requirement with the amount of food wasted in supermarkets.

In fact, this amount of wasted food could easily feed the entire population of Peru, and more than the total number of people suffering from hunger in the region, Telesur TV reported. According to the study, 16 million tons of food, 12.5 percent of the national agro-food production, was wasted in Argentina alone.

However, the FAO has welcomed the recent policies aimed at reducing food waste, either individually or through the regional bodies such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. It has been observed that Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic have made significant advances to reduce waste.

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