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Half Of The World's Food Goes To Waste, Says U.K. Report

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers claims that almost two and a quarter billion tons of food are lost through production, transportation, and consumer fussiness.

Shocking statistics from the U.K.'s Institution of Mechanical Engineers show that half of the world's food is being wasted. Poor storage, strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one-free offers, and fussiness on the part of consumers (translation: no one wants to eat a carrot which resembles a male appendage) are mooted as part of the problem.

Of the four billion tons of food produced worldwide each year, between 30% and 50% are wasted, a figure described by Dr. Tim Fox, head of the British body's energy and environment, as "staggering: "This is food that could be used to feed the world's growing population—as well as those in hunger today. It is an unnecessary waste of the land, water, and energy resources that were used in the production, processing, and distribution of this food." The report reveals that around 550 billion cubic meters of water are used to produce crops that are never eaten.

The finger is being pointed equally at farmers, producers, supermarkets, and consumers. Are governments, development agencies, and world organizations (yes, you in the blue tabard over there advocating GM food, United Nations) in a position to truly change the situation?

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