Stop wasting food to help fight climate change

Stop wasting food to help fight climate change

Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-04-08 11:43 Washington D.C: Did you toss out your food in the trash again? If yes, then you are too responsible for the global warming.About a tenth of overall global greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture could be traced back to food waste by mid-century, a new study shows.The team from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for the first time provided comprehensive food loss projections for countries around the world while also calculating the associated emissions.Currently, one third of global food production never finds its way onto our plates. This share will increase drastically, if emerging countries like China and India adopt Western nutrition lifestyles, the analyses shows.Reducing food waste would offer the chance to ensure food security, which is well known. Yet at the same time it could help mitigate dangerous climate change."Reducing food waste can contribute to fighting hunger, but to some extent also prevent climate impacts like more intense weather extremes and sea-level rise," lead author Ceren Hic said.Even though food availability on a global average has been higher than required in theory, some developing countries still have to fight undernourishment or hunger. "At the same time, agriculture is a major driver of climate change, accounting for more than 20 Percent of overall global greenhouse-gas emissions in 2010. Avoiding food loss and waste would therefore avoid unnecessary greenhouse-gas emissions and help mitigate climate change," co-author Prajal Pradhan explained."More importantly, food availability and requirement ratio show a linear relationship with human development, indicating that richer countries consume more food than is healthy or simply waste it," Pradhan added.Consequently, greenhouse-gas emissions associated with food waste could increase tremendously from today 0.5 to 1.9-2.5 Gigatons of CO2 equivalents per year by 2050, the study shows.How can the food supply chain be made smarter and more efficient, and are consumers to be convinced to reduce food waste? Issues like these require further research, but the study sheds light on the complex interplay of food security and climate change that will become even more important in a future that will have to feed around 10 billion people. "Avoiding food loss could pose a leverage to various challenges at once, reducing environmental impacts of agriculture, saving resources used in food production, and enhance local, regional, and global food security," co-author Jürgen Kropp noted.The study appears in journal environmental science