Here’s some news that will make you think twice about scraping those leftovers into the garbage: Our tendencies to overeat and waste food is draining the world’s food supply in a major way.
According to new study put together by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the world’s population is eating about 10 per cent more food than required, and throwing away another nine per cent. That’s right folks, we’re wasting about a fifth of the entire world’s food supply just because we can. Not only is this behaviour extremely gluttonous and wasteful, but it’s a legitimate threat to global food security.
Scientists analyzed ten stages of the food system from production to consumption, using U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization stats to determine how much was being lost around the world. Apparently, there are more leaks in the system than we initially thought, with some of the worst coming from overeating and consumer waste. Apparently, about 50 per cent of all crops, or over 2.1 billion tonnes, is lost due to consumer waste, overeating and production inefficiencies.
“Reducing losses from the global food system would improve food security and help prevent environmental harm,” said Dr. Peter Alexander from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences and Scotland’s Rural College in a press release. “Until now, it was not known how overeating impacts on the system. Not only is it harmful to health, but we found that overeating is bad for the environment and impairs food security.”
So before you go chucking your leftovers, or scarfing them down when you’re already full, consider the impact on the world’s food supply and maybe wrap it up and save it for later. We promise, half of that burrito will still taste delicious when you heat it up tomorrow.