Pertes alimentaires : des chiffres ahurissants, un impact démesuré

Food losses: staggering figures, disproportionate impact





food losses


Some theorists such as Malthus have stated the probability that planet Earth will no longer be able to support population growth in terms of feeding the human species.

At the time it was estimated that the population was increasing exponentially while, for example, market gardening was increasing under a linear model.

Since these theories, several strategies leading to a considerable increase in food production have emerged. There are certainly large regions of the world where hunger persists, but there is also the other side of the coin where we are talking about phenomenal amounts of food loss.

Scary numbers

Food waste has reached disproportionate proportions . Globally, there are more than 41,200 kilos of food thrown away every second worldwide, totaling food waste of 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year . It is estimated that 1/3 of total food production is not consumed. It seems that this food loss is attributable as much to developing countries as to rich countries.

We would tend to believe that almost all wasted food comes from farmers and industries. In fact, at the global level, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations , in 2013, 54% of food losses occurred upstream of the chain (production, harvesting and handling) while 46 % occur downstream in the chain (processing, distribution and consumption).

The distribution of food losses that occur post-production strongly involves the citizen! Figures from Planetoscope indicate that up to 42% of losses come from consumers.

What about here?

Canada would have a total food loss representing 58% and totaling 35.5 million metric tons. Obviously here, it is not the consumer who alone has the power to change this catastrophic statistic. According to the reportThe Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste , 12% of total Canadian losses come from homes.

food waste


Social and ecological impact

One of the reasons for this gargantuan waste is that its social and ecological price is not taken into account in decisions.

foos waste breakdown
The social and ecological impact
One of the reasons for this gargantuan waste is that its social and ecological price is not taken into account when decisions are made.
true cost of waste

Olivier De Schutter , former UN special rapporteur for the right to food, states that we could feed twice the world's population but that yet nearly a billion people suffer from undernourishment in addition to the two billion who are malnourished.

This food waste therefore clearly demonstrates that there is a poor distribution of investments in food and a very large disparity.

The environmental impact of food waste is grandiose and also deserves our full attention.

It occupies 3rd place as the largest polluter in the world. Although assessing the real repercussions is complex, it can be understood with eloquent statistics :

  • Food waste is responsible for the release of 3.3 gigatons (or 33,000 million tonnes) of greenhouse gases per year .
  • The food produced and not consumed requires 250 km3 of water each year (or 250000000 million liters).
  • The food produced and not consumed occupies almost 30% of the world's agricultural land ( or 1.4 billion hectares of land) .
  • Food waste increases agricultural expansion and causes very significant losses of biodiversity: disappearance of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, etc.

Don't you think it's high time to take a more in-depth look at strategies leading to better management of food resources? Both at the level of the industry itself, our supply and our own daily food management?

We may not have real power in what happens directly in the fields, however, as consumers, we have various powers to ensure a better balance and a considerable reduction in food loss.

Whether in the way we shop, in the way we store our food and cook it, several strategies can be developed and we will address them in the next article.

Until then, good thinking

Ecologically yours,


eco loco



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