The Under-Recognized Public Health Problem of Food Waste

Date: January 15th, 2013

Source: PLOS blog post

Abstract: The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) published a report about the problem of global waste. They reported that 30-50% of all the food is wasted even before it can be consumed. This has effects on every person on the earth for the recent and the future. The food loss and waste results on other things, like the waste of water, energy and the land space to produce food.  For example, the IME report states that almost 4 trillion cubic meters of water are currently used by the global population per annum with about 70% of that used for food production. Food wastage also contributes to global warming and as the population grows, it is likely to get worse in the future.

I have always been aware of the amount of food being wasted around the world. When going to the deli to eat lunch, I can see the amount of food in the trashcan, thrown away. We carelessly throw away unfinished thinking it will not be a big problem, but in the long run, the results are bad. It is connected to the waste of land, energy and water. Which will lead to global warming and get worse while the groth of popularity.  Food loss and waste is linked to the health of our environment and social attitudes toward food production and consumption. It is also tied to human health. Under-nutrition and over nutrition is one of the reasons in food loss and waste.  Some countries, counting where I come from, they have separate trash cans just for food waste. This is a simple solution to reducing trash and recycling food. Throwing away food into normal trash bags make the bags heavier and create “non awareness” of  how much food people are throwing away.

Link: http://blogs.plos.org/publichealth/2013/01/15/food-waste

Global Issue: Food wastage

Primary Design Lens: Food waste

Secondary Design Lens: Urban design

Yoonkyung Won.

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One Response to The Under-Recognized Public Health Problem of Food Waste

  1. Barbara says:

    Yoonkyung, this is a great topic to consider in relation to scale. Maybe we can talk about this in today’s discussion. It also links back to our discussion from last week about changing cultural behaviors and habits.

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