Ugly food part of worldwide food waste problem

Published: Monday, Jan. 14 2013 2:36 p.m. MST

And Gunther talks about the obese and the hungry around the world and how the food industry thinks the problem of hunger should be solved: "In response to concerns about how we can feed the world's growing population, which is predicted to reach nine billion by 2050, the industrial food lobby has misleadingly claimed that we urgently need to double food production. They argue that the only way we can hope to feed the world is by further intensifying agricultural production, with more agrochemicals, the global uptake of GM (genetically modified) crops and a dramatic increase in intensively farmed livestock — methods which happen to be highly profitable for their promoters. Yet people are waking up to the fact that food security is not simply about producing "more" of the same food, as those with vested interests would like us to believe. … The consensus is that we need to find ways of farming that not only produce sufficient quantities of the right kinds of food, grown in the right places, but which also minimize greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with intensive farming practices. In other words, we not only need to reduce the amount of food we currently waste, but we also need to dramatically improve our high-calorie, high-processed, high-waste Western diet — a diet which is literally killing us and destroying our planet."

"As a country, we're essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path — that's money and precious resources down the drain," said Dana Gunders, NRDC project scientist, in a Deseret News article. "With the price of food continuing to grow, and drought jeopardizing farmers nationwide, now is the time to embrace all the tremendous untapped opportunities to get more out of our food system. We can do better."

At least one commenter out of more than 1,000 on the BBC article isn't too upset about the waste. "Neil" wrote: "The general populace buys too much food, which maintains the prices (for farmers), which means that it makes economical sense for farmers to keep growing food (but they still need subsidies). If we were eating 99 percent of the food that is produced, what would happen if there was a couple of bad harvests? The waste is required. This is why the west has had no famines since WW2."

Neil's comments, however, were not appreciated by many, judging from the negative votes he received in the BBC comments rating system.

EMAIL: mdegroote@desnews.com, Twitter: @degroote, Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote

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