Within the next 30 years, there will be another two billion mouths to feed. This alarming statistic comes from an eye-opening article by National Geographic on global water and food waste. The report highlights the inextricable link between food production and water usage, reminding us that only about one percent of all the world’s water is drinkable, and of this, about 70 percent is used to irrigate crops and produce food.
This is why food security is intrinsically linked to water security, and why food waste means water waste too.
In a report published by the Stockholm International Water Institute, experts estimate that half the water used in irrigation globally is lost to wasted food. That’s about as much water as is contained in half of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake! Everyone is very concerned about using low-flush toilets and water-efficient washing machines, but the water wasted through food waste is significantly more than that wasted through our domestic appliances and taking long showers.
What Causes Food Waste?
Food waste happens mostly as a result of inefficient harvesting, transportation, storage, processing and packaging practices. Waste is generally higher in developed countries that have a large percentage of their population living in urban areas. Curbing supply chain losses is critical to cutting food waste, and saving water.
What Are The Environmental Effects Of Food Waste?
A blog on Columbia University’s website states that if all the food wasted globally was put into one country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The majority of wasted food is sent to landfills, where each metric tonne generates four and a half metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (C02). Food also produces methane, a greenhouse gas, as it decomposes. Methane is 25 times more potent than C02, and in wealthy countries, such as America and the UK, 10% of the greenhouse gases emitted can be directly attributed to wasted food.
How Can Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) Help?
What we eat every day represents about half of our total water footprint. By reducing the amount of food we waste, we reduce the amount of water we waste. The need for packaging that can maintain product quality and extend shelf life to avoid waste has never been more important.
MA Packaging is the safest and most effective way of prolonging the shelf life of fresh produce – without the use of chemicals or any artificial preservatives. Backed up by extensive and scientific research, Mapflex MA packaging works in harmony with the natural respiration of food to extend the shelf life of the produce significantly beyond the industry norms.
Do your bit to save water! Contact us today for tailored packaging solutions specifically suited to your fresh produce needs.