Food is wasted throughout its supply chain, within production, delivery, the sale, when it reaches your plate and when it ends up in our bins. Each stage of the food process produces greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. To lower our carbon footprints, we must make sure that we only buy food that we need and that we eat it to prevent it from becoming waste.
If food is wasted, then there was no need for it to be produced in the first place. Therefore, the emissions released during its production, delivery and being placed in a supermarket becomes unnecessary. This is because food is not the only thing that is wasted, in order to produce the food we need: water, land, nutrients and a large amount of energy is needed to rear our livestock and grow our fruits, vegetables and crops.
This is a frequent occurrence as 9.5 tonnes of food waste is thrown away each year. 70% of this comes from households. Globally, a massive 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted, through being thrown away, lost and spoiled in the delivery process or is wasted before it has even left the farm.
Throughout each food items journey from farm to plate, a large amount of CO2 is released, and 8-10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the food we eat and waste. Once food begins to rot on landfill, it releases further greenhouse gases including methane.
Methane is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and global warming, as methane has a global warming potential (GWP) of 27-30 times that of carbon dioxide. As the food breaks down the gas is released into the atmosphere. If we cut down our food waste and only buy what we need, we can prevent these harmful gases from increasing global warming.