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Food Wastage and Global Food Security

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Today, we produce about four billion metric tonnes of food per annum. Yet due to poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation leading to losses, as well as market and consumer waste, it is estimated that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tonnes) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach. Furthermore, this figure does not reflect the fact that large amounts of water, energy and land are used unnecessarily in the production of foodstuffs which simply end up as wastage. This level of resource waste is a tragedy that cannot continue if we are to succeed in the challenge of sustainably meeting human needs in the 21st Century. Dr Tim Fox will present the findings of the Institution’s two recent reports in this area, ‘Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not’ and ‘A Tank of Cold: Cleantech Leapfrog to a More Food Secure World’ and consider what engineers, governments, businesses and the public need to do to reduce food wastage and thereby help underpin international food security.

This talk is part of the Food Futures in the World series.

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