Prof Gaddeswarup - one of the many blog-personas, I have met, conversed and related with in this space during last couple of years - sent me a link today to an article about the current food crisis I had blogged about earlier (Global Hunger: The Next Stage of Globalisation...
What struck me was this interesting graph in the report:
Apparently, the food production has increased 3-fold during since 1961, while the world population has slightly doubled from 3bn to 6bn+... and prices have gone down singinificantly (inspite of the current peak)
... and yet we have a "food crisis"!! why?
Which reminded me of an Austrian documentary "We Feed the World", which I had seen some months back. The film was about globalisation and food: "Every day in Vienna the amount of unsold bread sent back to be disposed of is enough to supply Austria's second-largest city, Graz. Around 350,000 hectares of agricultural land, above all in Latin America, are dedicated to the cultivation of soybeans to feed Austria's livestock while one quarter of the local population starves. Every European eats ten kilograms a year of artificially irrigated greenhouse vegetables from southern Spain, which results in water shortages."
The image, which remained stuck in my mind for days, was that of a truck-load of perfectly edible food being dumped in the garbage yard... It was a criminal waste.
The driver of the truck says, "...we take away about 2mn kilos of bread every year, and there is nothing wrong with them. It's no more than 2 day old, fit for anybody to eat... I always drive the same route, I see old people stopping and staring, because they just can't believe what we are doing."
Apparently, the "food crisis" is there because much of what is produced goes waste in the value chain...
One oft-mentioned aspect is the waste that happens by the time the produce reaches the consumer... Mostly prevalent in the developing countries.
For example, in March this year, in India, the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries (FPI) Subodh Kant Sahay, informed the parliament that as much as as Rs.58,000 worth of grains get wasted due to lack of adequate post-harvest infrastructure, i.e., due to lack of cold chains, transportation and proper storage facilities, etc.
What is, however, not highlighted is the food wastage that happens after it reaches the consumer... specially in the developed countries/economies.
So here are some snapshots which I could gather from the net:
Somewhat related earlier posts: