The Global Food Waste Crisis: What You Need to Know

Despite few people understanding its full extent, the global food waste crisis is one of the most impactful and pressing issues of the modern age. As a result of extensive methane emissions released by decomposing food matter, the way we dispose of our food continues to contribute dramatically to global warming and the climate crisis.

The food waste crisis is not unique to any one nation or continent. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the state of global food waste, how it impacts the planet, and how we can seek to make our futures a cleaner, greener place.

The Food Waste Crisis is Damaging Our Planet

While the first thing that comes to mind when discussing environmental damage is single-use plastic, the impact of food waste is perhaps even more catastrophic. When food is disposed of and left to decompose in landfills all over the world, it produces massive methane (CH4) deposits. When this gas is released into the air, it settles in the atmosphere for decades, trapping 35X more heat than CO2.

According to the EPA, one tonne of methane does approximately 25 times more damage to the climate over a 100 year period than one tonne of carbon dioxide. Considering how much effort the world is putting into reducing its carbon footprint, sustainability efforts must focus more of their energy on tackling the food waste epidemic

Although it’s important to cut down wasted food in landfills, methane production isn’t the only negative impact of throwing out our leftovers. Whether it’s a crate of eggs or a whole loaf of bread that makes its way into the trash, the entire manufacturing process behind that product also goes to waste. Watering, harvesting, packaging, transporting – all of that time, effort, energy and cost is wasted as a result.

Why Is There So Much Food Waste?

While world hunger continues to be an issue, the thought of 1.3 billion tonnes of food getting lost or wasted globally is an uncomfortable one. The most obvious reason for food waste is that people are simply buying or cooking more than they need, but there are plenty of other factors to blame too.