Waging War Against Global Food Waste


Tristram Stuart, an emerging explorer, and British food activist, gathered in the city of London to discuss global food waste. During a presentation for TED talks, Stuart discusses shocking data gathered regarding food waste. Stuart further explains, that on average, the daily costumer purchases more food than necessary.

Global agricultural systems are struggling to feed all seven billion inhabitants on earth. And while many may believe that insufficient production of crops and goods is at fault, some may be shocked to find out that food waste is to be held accountable.

Commercial farming has quickly taken control over the world’s economic core, as well as some of the places in the Periphery and Semi-Periphery area. Periphery countries are often dependent upon core countries for capital, and are less industrialized and urbanized. However, semi-periphery refers to countries less developed than core nations but more developed than peripheral nations.

Despite, enough food being produced globally to allow for Earth’s mass population to be fed. Inadequate distribution, poverty, diseases, and food security looms are crucial issues for the twenty-first century. “Producing this huge surplus leads to deforestation, depleted water supplies, massive fossil fuel consumption, and biodiversity loss,” Stuart said. “Excess food decomposing in landfills accounts for 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by wealthy nations.”

Tristram further implies the ramifications at hand, regarding environmental factors and waste production. In fact, urban expansions into productive farmland is a global phenomenon, with drastic implications for the near future.         In accordance, as cities expand outward, many fertile and productive farmlands are being destroyed due to housing and commercialization.  As a result, population growth and the loss of agricultural land drastically help explain why global food prices and availability have risen over the last few decades.

Stuart ends his presentation by proposing that individuals contribute to helping lower the rate of waste production. He explains how reducing food waste could be one of the easiest ways to reduce pressure on the environment. And most importantly, how we each can have a powerful impact.



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