Global food – Waste not, want not | Institution of Mechanical Engineers

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers of the United Kingdom has published a well-researched and thoughtful report in post-harvest losses of food, which they estimate to be roughly half of the world’s annual output. This roughly matches the post-harvest losses experienced in Georgia also. Private investment in grain dryers, grain silos, cold storage and refrigerated trucks is badly needed in Georgia’s regions. Antiquated Soviet-era crop harvesters often leave over 20% of grain spilt on the ground, so upgrades of farm machinery can make a huge difference to financial returns and national food security .

Global food - Waste not, want not | Institution of Mechanical Engineers

“By 2075, the United Nations’ mid-range projection for global population growth predicts that human numbers will peak at about 9.5 billion people. This means that there could be an extra three billion mouths to feed by the end of the century, a period in which substantial changes are anticipated in the wealth, calorific intake and dietary preferences of people in developing countries across the world.

Such a projection presents mankind with wide-ranging social, economic, environmental and political issues that need to be addressed today to ensure a sustainable future for all. One key issue is how to produce more food in a world of finite resources.

Today, we produce about four billion metric tonnes of food per annum. Yet due to poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, as well as market and consumer wastage, it is estimated that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tonnes) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach. Furthermore, this figure does not reflect the fact that large amounts of land, energy, fertilisers and water have also been lost in the production of foodstuffs which simply end up as waste. This level of wastage is a tragedy that cannot continue if we are to succeed in the challenge of sustainably meeting our future food demands.

Read the Global Food report [PDF, 1MB] “

via Global food – Waste not, want not | Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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