How is KR 3.5 Tracking?
A staggering 40 percent of the world’s food is wasted each year, with most of it being thrown out in higher-income countries. Meanwhile, 800 million people worldwide are undernourished.
In lower-income nations, food waste is largely unintended, the product of improper storage, substandard equipment and packaging, or bad weather. Most waste occurs early in the supply chain, with food rotting before it’s harvested or spoiling en route to buyers. These problems must be fixed.
In the U.S., by contrast, consumers simply throw out 35 percent of their food, at an average cost of $2,000 per household. This waste is partly driven by misleading expiration dates on food labels, which prompts premature discards of safe and edible items. The waste is compounded by food items rejected at the retail level, often for superficial cosmetic reasons.
Wealthy countries must have more standardized expiration labeling, more municipal composting programs, and more intensive public awareness campaigns. We also need more effective waste-reduction partnerships among retailers, supply chains, and food banks.
Data for KR 3.5 is sourced from the World Wildlife Fund and Tesco, which published its latest report on global food loss and waste in July 2021.