On Friday, I was surprised to hear the finding that 50% of Europe’s fruits and vegetables aren’t eaten. Turns out I missed one small word–that close to 50% is wasted. Not a big deal, though, as nearly everyone uses tiny modifiers for impact.
With or without modifiers, European produce waste is shocking. Yet even worse is North American produce waste, which tops 50% (Both data points come from this 2011 FAO report with the snazzy cover photos.)
What is new to me is the Veg-i-Trade project. This project, led by scientists at the University of Ghent in Belgium, seeks to reduce that staggering amount of waste at all stages of the food chain. Veg-i-Trade is examining how globalization and climate change impact food safety and, thus, waste.
Somewhat related, here are some useful hints on how individuals can reduce waste. Written for a European audience, but the tips are mostly applicable to anyone.
Two things to note: First, European expiration date meanings are slightly different, with the ‘use-by’ date being more severe in Europe than the US. Second: I’ve never heard “garden food” used synonymously with compost.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a garden to feed…