PerspectiveFood Waste

Waste not, want not, emit less

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Science  22 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6284, pp. 408-409
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf2978

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Summary

Ensuring a sufficient supply of quality food for a growing human population is a major challenge, aggravated by climate change and already-strained natural resources. Food security requires production of some food surpluses to safeguard against unpredictable fluctuations (1). However, when food is wasted, not only has carbon been emitted to no avail, but disposal and decomposition in landfills create additional environmental impacts. Decreasing the current high scale of food waste is thus crucial for achieving resource-efficient, sustainable food systems (2). But, although avoiding food waste seems an obvious step toward sustainability, especially given that most people perceive wasting food as grossly unethical (3), food waste is a challenge that is not easily solved.