A Cucumber’s Tale

This Wall Street Journal video provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the journey to bring Indian produce from farms to consumers.

In making this vicarious trip along the supply chain, we glimpse some less-than-ideal handling practices. From unrefrigerated (and often uncovered) transport to bumpy roads to poor storage, the video illustrates the differences between the food chain in developing and developed nations. (For the latter, imagine refrigerated tractor trailers zooming down a national highway system.)

And to a lesser degree, the video highlights the difference between loss and waste. The former happens due to factors out of human control, not within it.

While watching the WSJ video, we can almost fathom its opening statistic: more than one-third of Indian produce “rots before reaching ever consumers.” (Note: this comes from the IME study’s finding that 40 percent of Indian fruits and vegetables are lost between grower and consumer). This squandered food represents a $12 billion loss and a wasted opportunity in a land with rampant hunger.

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