Reducing food waste to mitigate climate change

28/10/2021

By Rudo Matsveru

It is estimated that one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. It has also been estimated that if food waste was a country, it would be the third emitter of greenhouse gases after United States and China according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. One third of greenhouse emissions globally come from agriculture and 30% of the food we produce is wasted.

When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes for growing, harvesting, transporting and packaging it. And when food is thrown away, it rots and releases methane into the atmosphere - a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food.

In order to reduce food waste to mitigate climate change, people therefore need to plan ahead and buy only what is needed, we need innovative ways of extending the shelf life of diverse food products and also awareness is the first step, educating consumers about food waste could prevent tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing food waste to mitigate climate change