Third of the world's food is never eaten - and it's increasing the cost of your weekly shop
Damning World Bank report criticises wasteful wealthy nations like UK and US
A third of the food the world produces is never consumed, meaning that prices are being artificially inflated and resources wasted – but record harvests of wheat and maize are bringing some relief to struggling consumers by bringing prices down from their recent all-time high.
These are the findings in a damning new report from the World Bank, which chastises wealthy nations such as the UK and the US for throwing away far too much food and laments the woeful food handling and storage facilities in the developing world, which allows essential staples to perish.
“The amount of food wasted and lost globally is shameful,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.
“Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to the market. We have to tackle this problem in every country in order to improve food security and end poverty,” he added.
The World Bank drew attention in its report to recent figures showing that the average UK household of four throws away £660 a year, while the US figure is even higher – at £960.
However, the World Bank reports that the average food staple has fallen by 11 per cent in the past year and is 18 per cent below its record in August 2012.
Much of the decline can be put down to record wheat and maize harvests – helped by good weather and falling fertiliser costs – which pushed down the price of those crops by 21 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.
Furthermore, the report expects prices to continue to decline in the short term, with fertiliser prices set to fall further and conditions for crops forecast to be favourable.
However, the report notes that food prices are still historically high and cautions that crops could still be hit. “Deteriorating weather concerns among major producers and exporters, especially those in Argentina, Australia and parts of China; higher oil prices and the effects of an increasingly anticipated release of public stockpiles in Thailand on export rice prices all constitute risks to monitor in the short term,” it said.
The report found that 56 per cent of the total food lost and wasted occurs in the developing country, most of it lost during the production, handling and storage phases. In the developed world, most of the waste relates to the “consumption” stage.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
Climate change: Six major energy companies write to United Nations to request help in setting up carbon pricing scheme
Pester power: The new weapon in the fight against global warming
New posters available for supporters of World Environment Day
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 2 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...