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Food waste

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Food waste

A bin containing biodegradable waste

Food waste or food loss is food that is discarded or lost uneaten. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous, and occur at the stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption.[1]

As of 2013, half of all food is wasted worldwide, according to the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME).[2] Loss and wastage occurs at all stages of the food supply chain or value chain. In low-income countries, most loss occurs during production, while in developed countries much food – about 100 kilograms (220 lb) per person per year – is wasted at the consumption stage.[3]


  • Definition 1
    • United Nations 1.1
    • European Union 1.2
    • United States 1.3
  • Causes 2
    • Production 2.1
    • Food processing 2.2
    • Retail 2.3
  • Extent 3
    • Global extent 3.1
    • Individual countries 3.2
      • New Zealand 3.2.1
      • Singapore 3.2.2
      • United Kingdom 3.2.3
      • United States 3.2.4
  • Reduction and disposal 4
    • Landfills and greenhouse gases 4.1
    • Municipal collection 4.2
    • Animal feed 4.3
    • Composting 4.4
    • Anaerobic digestion 4.5
    • Commercial liquid food waste 4.6
    • Food Waste Recovery 4.7
    • Dumpster diving 4.8
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Bibliography 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


The definition of

  • Feeding the 5000 - Global food waste campaign
  • United Against Food Waste - European food waste campaign and events
  • "wastecooking" - political cookingshow with the aim to call attention to food waste
  • This is Rubbish - Welsh anti food waste campaign group
  • Stop Wasting Food movement - Denmark's largest non-profit consumer movement against food waste
  • Blog on Food Waste - The Huffington Post - Selina Juul's blog on food waste at The Huffington Post
  • Taste the Waste - international campaign and film project
  • Joint Declaration Against Food Waste - an international document which is disclosed to the European Parliament and the United Nations and contains proposals for sustainable use of food and commitment to the global reduction of food waste by at least 50% by 2025 and also suggests that reduction of food waste should be a new UN Millennium Development Goal.
  • SAVE FOOD - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s first international congress on food waste SAVE FOOD in collaboration with Messe Düsseldorf
  • FAO report 'Global Food Losses and Food Waste' - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s report 'Global Food Losses and Food Waste'
  • The Climate Change Impact of US Food Waste - CleanMetrics Corp.'s report on the climate change impact of US food waste, based on a life-cycle assessment study using USDA food waste data
  • Food Waste Stats
  • Food waste reduction could help feed world's starving, article on BBC News website

External links

  • Juul, Selina (2011). Stop spild af mad - en kogebog med mere. Gyldendal.  
  • Bloom, Jonathan (2010). American Wasteland - How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (And What We Can Do About It). Perseus Books Group.  
  • Stuart, Tristram (2009). Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. Penguin.  
  • LeGood, Paul; Andrew Clarke (November 2006). "Smart and Active Packaging to Reduce Food Waste" (PDF). p. 32. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  • Willand, Lois Carlson (1979). The Use-It-Up Cookbook: A Guide for Minimizing Food Waste. Practical Cookbooks.  
  • Venkat, Kumar (September 2011). "The Anatomy of Food Waste". Retrieved 2011-10-04. 

Further reading

  • Gustavson, Jenny; Cederberg, Christel; Sonesson, Ulf; van Otterdijk, Robert; Meybeck, Alexandre (2011). Global Food Losses and Food Waste (PDF).  
  • Hall, David Wylie (1970). Handling and storage of food grains in tropical and subtropical areas. Food & Agriculture Organisation.  
  • Kader, A. A. (2005). "Increasing Food Availability by Reducing Postharvest Losses of Fresh Produce" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  • Kantor, Linda; Kathryn Lipton; Alden Manchester; Victor Oliveira (January–April 1997). "Estimating and Addressing America’s Food Losses" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  • Morris, Robert F.;  
  • Ogino, Akifumi; Hiroyuki Hirooka; Atsuo Ikeguchi; Yasuo Tanaka; Miyoko Waki; Hiroshi Yokoyama; Tomoyuki Kawashima (May 2007). "Environmental Impact Evaluation of Feeds Prepared from Food Residues Using Life Cycle Assessment" (PDF). Journal of Environmental Quality. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  • Oreopoulou, Vasso; Winfried Russ (2007). Utilization of by-products and treatment of waste in the food industry. Springer.  
  • Sullivan, D. M.; A. I. Bary; D. R. Thomas; S. C. Fransen; C. G. Cogger (January–February 2002). "Food Waste Compost Effects on Fertilizer Nitrogen Efficiency, Available Nitrogen, and Tall Fescue Yield" (PDF). Soil Science Society of America Journal 66: 154–161.  
  • Wang, J. Y.; H.L. Xu; J. H. Tay (2002). "A hybrid two-phase system for anaerobic digestion of food waste" (PDF). Water Science and Technology 45 (12): 159–165.  
  • Westendorf, M. L.; Z. C. Dong; P. A. Schoknecht (1998). "Recycled cafeteria food waste as a feed for swine: nutrient content digestibility, growth, and meat quality" (PDF).  
  • Westendorf, Michael L. (2000). Food waste to animal feed.  


  1. ^ a b c Galanakis, Charis M. (2015). Food Waste Recovery: Processing Technologies and Industrial Techniques. San Diego: Elsevier-Academic Press. p. 4.  
  2. ^ "Food Waste: Half Of All Food Ends Up Thrown Away". Huffington Post. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Gustavsson, J, Cederberg, C & Sonesson, U, 2011, Global Food Losses and Food Waste, Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations, Gothenburg Sweden, available at:
  4. ^ Westendorf 2000, pp. x-xi.
  5. ^ Oreopoulou, p. 1.
  6. ^ a b "Glossary".  
  7. ^ a b "Terms of Environment: Glossary, Abbreviations and Acronyms (Glossary F)".  
  8. ^ a b "Organic Materials Management Glossary".  
  9. ^ Oreopoulou, p. 2.
  10. ^ a b "Food Waste Composting Regulations" (PDF).  
    "Many states surveyed for this paper do not define food waste or distinguish between pre-consumer and post consumer food waste, while other states classify food waste types."
  11. ^ Gustavson et al., p. 2.
  12. ^ "The Definition of Waste, Summary of European Court of Justice Judgments" (PDF).  
    "Whether it is waste must be determined ... by comparison with the definition set out in Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442, as amended by Directive 91/156, that is to say the discarding of the substance in question or the intention or requirement to discard it"
  13. ^ a b "Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste".  
    "For the purposes of this Directive: (a) "waste" means any substance or object which the holder disposes of or is required to dispose of pursuant to the provisions of national law in force;" (Amended by Directive 91/156)
  14. ^ "Council Directive 91/156/EEC of 18 March 1991 amending Directive 75/442/EEC on waste".  
  15. ^ "Chapter 3.1. Compostable Materials Handling Operations and Facilities Regulatory Requirements".  
    "Food Material" means any material that was acquired for animal or human consumption, is separated from the municipal solid waste stream, and that does not meet the definition of "agricultural material."
  16. ^ a b c d e f Kantor, p. 3.
  17. ^ Waters, Tony (2007). The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: life beneath the level of the marketplace. Lexington Books.  
  18. ^ "Food Security".  
    "… there is certainly a lot of waste in the system … Unless, that is, we were to go back to subsistence agriculture …"
  19. ^ Savary, Serge; Laetitia Willocquet; Francisco A. Elazegui; Nancy P. Castilla; Paul S. Teng (March 2000). "Rice pest constraints in tropical Asia: Quantification of yield losses due to rice pests in a range of production situations". Plant Disease 84 (3): 357–369.  
  20. ^ Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Ana Iglesias, X.B. Yang, Paul R. Epstein, and Eric Chivian (2001). "Climate change and extreme weather events, Implications for food production, plant diseases, and pests" (PDF). Global Change and Human Health 2. Retrieved 2009-08-21. (Free preview, full article available for purchase) 
  21. ^ Haile, Menghestab (29 November 2005). "Weather patterns, food security and humanitarian response in sub-Saharan Africa" (PDF). The Royal Society 360 (1463): 2169–82.  
    "… frequent extreme weather event such as droughts and floods that reduce agricultural outputs resulting in severe food shortages."
  22. ^ "Wonky fruit & vegetables make a comeback!".  
  23. ^ a b Morris, p. 1.
  24. ^ Morris, pp. 7–8
  25. ^ Hall, p. 1.
  26. ^ "Loss and waste: Do we really know what is involved?".  
  27. ^ Lacey, J. (1989). "Pre- and post-harvest ecology of fungi causing spoilage of foods and other stored products". Journal of Applied Bacteriology Symposium Supplement. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  28. ^ Hall, p. 25.
  29. ^ "Post-harvest system and food losses".  
  30. ^ Kader, p. 1.
  31. ^ Hall, p. 18.
  32. ^ Oreopoulou, p. 3.
  33. ^ Kantor, pp. 3–4.
  34. ^ Dalzell, Janet M. (2000). Food industry and the environment in the European Union: practical issues and cost implications. Springer. p. 300.  
  35. ^ "Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines for Meat Processing" (PDF). 2007. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  36. ^ "Specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin".  
    "Foodstuffs of animal origin … may present microbiological and chemical hazards"
  37. ^ a b "Making the most of packaging, A strategy for a low-carbon economy" (PDF).  
  38. ^ Robertson, Gordon L. (2006). Food packaging: principles and practice. CRC Press.  
  39. ^ "Review of Food Waste Depackaging Equipment" (PDF).  
  40. ^ *Stuart, Tristram (2009). Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal: The True Cost of What the Global Food Industry Throws Away. Penguin.  
  41. ^ a b Gustavson et al., p. 4
  42. ^ Gustavsson et al., p. 5; visually estimated to within 5 kg from figure 2.
  43. ^ Institution of Mechanical Engineers. "Global Food: Waste not, want not" (PDF). Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  44. ^ "Most people here concerned about food waste: Poll". The Straits Times. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  45. ^ a b c Juliette Jowit. "Call to use leftovers and cut food waste". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  46. ^ "Surprising Statistics on Food Waste in the UK"
  47. ^ "US wastes half its food". Retrieved March 27, 2009. 
  48. ^ a b From Farm to Fridge to Garbage Can. // The New York Times, 1.11.2010
  49. ^ a b Wrap - Household Food Waste
  50. ^ "Britain's colossal food waste is stoking climate change". The Independent. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  51. ^ Cambio verde project in Curitiba, Brazil
  52. ^ Depouillon, Joris. "Food Surplus Entrepreneur". EU FUSIONS. Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  53. ^ Joel Rose (2014-03-11). "Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria". NPR. 
  54. ^ "Most of the smaller cities in this country dispose of a part or all their garbage by feeding to swine, but ... only four maintain municipal piggeries." Capes and Carpenter, 1918, p. 169
  55. ^ "Feeding Your Chickens Table Scraps | McMurray Hatchery Blog". 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  56. ^ Chicken Feed: How to Feed Chickens. "Feeding Chickens: What to feed chickens to keep them healthy | Keeping Chickens: A Beginners Guide". Keeping Chickens. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  57. ^ Vermicomposting study for reducing food waste
  58. ^ Vermicomposting for reducing food waste
  59. ^ "Red Worm CompostingRestaurant Food Waste Vermicomposting". Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  60. ^ EPA press release, June 19, 2008
  61. ^ [2]
  62. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, February 5, 2009
  63. ^ Galanakis, Charis M. (2012-08-01). "Recovery of high added-value components from food wastes: Conventional, emerging technologies and commercialized applications". Trends in Food Science & Technology 26 (2): 68–87.  


See also

In regions where people practice dumpster diving, food waste is also reduced. However, it can pose a health risk to these people and there may also be questions of legality.

Dumpster diving

Food wastes are undesirable for the food industry in terms of sustainability and environmental impact, but perhaps more important in view of high disposal costs. For this reason, they have been considered as a matter of treatment, minimization and prevention for more than 40 years. Nowadays, food wastes account as a source for the recovery of valuable compounds and deal with the prospect of feeding population in the 21st century. Perspectives originate from the enormous amounts of food related materials that are discharged worldwide and the existing technologies, which promise not only the recovery but also the sustainability of high added-value ingredients inside food chain.[1][63]

Food Waste Recovery

Estimating how much brown grease food waste is produced annually is difficult, but in the US alone, number is thought to be in the billions of gallons. In 2009, the city of San Francisco stated it produces about 10 million US gallons (38,000 m3) of brown grease a year. It is starting the first city-wide project in the US to recycle brown grease into biodiesel and other fuels.[62]

In US metropolitan areas, the brown grease is taken by pumpers or grease-hauling trucks to wastewater treatment plants, where they are charged to dump it. In other areas, it may be taken to a landfill or it may be illegally dumped somewhere unknown, to avoid charges. This unmonitored disposal process is not only harmful for our environment and our health, but it also hurts businesses which have no idea where their business waste ends up, or indeed how much liquid waste is in their grease interceptors at any point in time, leaving them vulnerable to illegal dumping into their own grease traps or interceptors. Some companies now market computerized monitoring services along with in situ bioremediation, which produces byproducts of CO2 and gray water that can safely flow into sewer systems. Other new technologies offer ex situ treatment to process brown grease into some form of transportation fuel. This may not be as environmentally friendly as in situ treatment, since it still requires vehicles to pump and transport the brown grease waste to the plants.

Commercially, food waste in the form of wastewater coming from commercial kitchens’ sinks, dishwashers and floor drains is collected in holding tanks called [60] Overflows discharge 3 billion US gallons (11,000,000 m3) - 10 billion US gallons (38,000,000 m3) of untreated wastewater annually into local waterways, and up to 3,700 illnesses annually are due to exposure to contamination from sanitary sewer overflows into recreational waters.[61]

Commercial liquid food waste

Food waste coming through the sanitary sewers from garbage disposal units is treated along with other sewage and contributes to sludge.

greenhouse gas emissions.

Anaerobic digestion

Food waste can be composted at home, avoiding central collection entirely, and many local authorities have schemes to provide subsidised composting bin systems. However, the proportion of the population willing to dispose of their food waste in that way may be limited.

Vermicomposting is the practise of feeding scraps to worms who produce fertilized soil as a byproduct.[57][58][59]

Food waste can be biodegraded by composting, and reused to fertilize soil.

Inevitable waste: peels of potato, onion, lemon, tangerine, banana, kiwi, egg


Chickens have traditionally been given mixtures of waste grains and milling by-products in a mixture called chicken scratch. As well, giving table scraps to backyard chickens is a large part of that movement's claim to sustainability[55] though not all backyard chicken growers recommend it[56]

One of the common animals to be fed household scraps is swine, in which case the food scraps are often called slop. See also: pig farming.

It is now widely believed by scientists that the domestication of the dog was related to food scraps. Indeed, some believe that dogs "self-domesticated" by following around hunter-gatherer bands in order to eat their scraps. In many preindustrial societies, domestic dogs perform (or performed) valuable service to their human owners in exchange for scraps of meat. For example, sled dogs in the Arctic, or herding dogs and livestock guardian dogs in Europe. Modern-day pet dogs are also often fed table scraps. In fact, taking leftovers home from a restaurant is often called a doggy bag.

The feeding of food scraps to animals is, historically, the most common way of dealing with household food waste.

Animal feed

Separate curbside collection of food waste is now being revived in some areas. To keep collection costs down and raise the rate of food waste segregation, some local authorities, especially in Europe, have introduced "alternate weekly collections" of biodegradable waste (including, e.g., garden waste), which enable a wider range of recyclable materials to be collected at reasonable cost, and improve their collection rates. However, they result in a two-week wait before the waste will be collected. The criticism is that particularly during hot weather, food waste rots and stinks, and attracts vermin. Waste container design is therefore essential to making such operations feasible.

From the end of the 19th century through the middle of the 20th century, many municipalities collected food waste (called "garbage" as opposed to "trash") separately. This was typically disinfected by steaming and fed to pigs, either on private farms or in municipal piggeries.[54]

In areas where waste collection is a public function, food waste is usually managed by the same governmental organization as other waste collection. Most food waste is combined with general waste at the source. Separate collections, also known as source-separated organics, have the advantage that food wastes can be disposed of in ways not applicable to other wastes. In the United States, companies find higher and better uses for large commercial generators of food and beverage waste.

Municipal collection

In countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, food scraps constitute around 19% of the waste dumped in landfills, where it ends up rotting and producing methane, a greenhouse gas.[48]

[53] Dumping food waste in a landfill causes odour as it decomposes, attracts flies and vermin, and has the potential to add biological oxygen demand (BOD) to the leachate. The European Union

Landfills and greenhouse gases

An initiative in Curitiba, Brazil called Cambio Verde allows farmers to provide surplus produce (produce they would otherwise discard due to too low prices) to people that bring glass and metal to recycling facilities (to encourage further waste reduction).[51] In Europe, the Food Surplus Entrepreneurs Network (FSE Network), coordinates a network of social businesses and nonprofit initiatives with the goal to spread best practices to increase the use of surplus food and reduction of food waste.[52]

One way of dealing with food waste is to reduce its creation. Consumers can reduce spoilage by planning their food shopping, avoiding potentially wasteful spontaneous purchases, and storing foods properly.[49]

Limiting food wastage has seen the adoption of former World War I and World War II slogans by antiwaste groups such as WRAP.[45]

As alternatives to landfill, food waste can be composted to produce soil and fertilizer, fed to animals, or used to produce energy or fuel.

Response to the problem of food waste at all social levels has varied hugely, including campaigns from advisory and environmental groups,[49] and concentrated media attention on the subject.[45][50]

Reduction and disposal

A study by the University of Arizona in 2004 indicated that 14 to 15% of United States edible food is untouched or unopened, amounting to $43 billion worth of discarded, but edible, food.[47] Another survey, by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, found that 93 percent of respondents acknowledged buying foods they never used.[48]

United States

In the UK, 6.7 million tonnes per year of wasted food (purchased and edible food which is discarded) amounts to a cost of £10.2 billion each year. This represents costs of £250 to £400 a year per household.[45] [46]

United Kingdom

In Singapore, 788,600 tonnes of food was wasted in 2014.[44]


New Zealand

Individual countries

A 2013 report from the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) likewise estimated that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tonnes) of all food produced remains uneaten.[43]

Food loss and waste per person per year[42] Total At the production and retail stages By consumers
Europe 280 kg (620 lb) 190 kg (420 lb) 90 kg (200 lb)
North America and Oceania 295 kg (650 lb) 185 kg (408 lb) 110 kg (240 lb)
Industrialized Asia 240 kg (530 lb) 160 kg (350 lb) 80 kg (180 lb)
sub-Saharan Africa 160 kg (350 lb) 155 kg (342 lb) 5 kg (11 lb)
North Africa, West and Central Asia 215 kg (474 lb) 180 kg (400 lb) 35 kg (77 lb)
South and Southeast Asia 125 kg (276 lb) 110 kg (240 lb) 15 kg (33 lb)
Latin America 225 kg (496 lb) 200 kg (440 lb) 25 kg (55 lb)

The 2011 SIK study estimated the total of global food loss and waste to around one third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption, amounting to about 1.3 billion tons per year.[41] As the following table shows, industrialized and developing countries differ substantially. In the latter, more than 40% of losses occur at the postharvest and processing stages, while in the former, more than 40% of losses occur at the retail and consumer levels. The total food waste by consumers in industrialized countries (222 million tons) is almost equal to the entire food production in sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons).[41]

Global extent


[40] Retail stores can throw away large quantities of food. Usually, this consists of items that have reached their either their

Packaging protects food from damage during its transportation from farms and factories via warehouses to retailing, as well as preserving its freshness upon arrival.[37] Although it avoids considerable food waste,[37][38] packaging can compromise efforts to reduce food waste in other ways, such as by contaminating waste that could be used for animal feedstocks.[39]


Some of the food waste produced by processing can be difficult to reduce without affecting the quality of the finished product.[32] Food safety regulations are able to claim foods which contradict standards before they reach markets.[33] Although this can conflict with efforts to reuse food waste (such as in animal feed),[34] safety regulations are in place to ensure the health of the consumer; they are vitally important, especially in the processing of foodstuffs of animal origin (e.g. meat and dairy products), as contaminated products from these sources can lead to and are associated with microbiological and chemical hazards.[35][36]

[31][16] Further losses are generated in the handling of food and by shrinkage in weight or volume.[30] these "qualitative losses" are more difficult to assess than quantitative ones.[29][28] also account for food waste;[27] Food waste continues in the

Food processing

Research into the food industry of the pest infestations and severe weather,[19][20] which cause losses before harvest.[16] Since natural forces (e.g. temperature and precipitation) remain the primary drivers of crop growth, losses from these can be experienced by all forms of outdoor agriculture.[21] The use of machinery in harvesting can cause waste, as harvesters may be unable to discern between ripe and immature crops, or collect only part of a crop.[16] Economic factors, such as regulations and standards for quality and appearance,[22] also cause food waste; farmers often harvest selectively, preferring to leave crops not to standard in the field (where they can be used as fertilizer or animal feed), since they would otherwise be discarded later.[16]

In developing and developed countries which operate either commercial or industrial agriculture, food waste can occur at most stages of the food industry and in significant amounts.[16] In subsistence agriculture, the amounts of food waste are unknown, but are likely to be insignificant by comparison, due to the limited stages at which waste can occur, and given that food is grown for projected need as opposed to a global marketplace demand.[17][18] Nevertheless, on-farm losses in storage in developing countries, particularly in African countries, can be high although the exact nature of such losses is much debated.



The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines food waste for the United States as "uneaten food and food preparation wastes from residences and commercial establishments such as grocery stores, restaurants, and produce stands, institutional cafeterias and kitchens, and industrial sources like employee lunchrooms".[7] The states remain free to define food waste differently for their purposes,[8][15] though many choose not to.[10]

United States

In July 2014, the European Commission has announced its targets for the circular economy, waste management and provided a "food waste" definition as "food (including inedible parts) lost fromthe food supply chain, not including food diverted to material uses such as bio-based products, animal feed, or sent for redistribution" (i.e. food donation). Concurrently, all Member States of the European Union shall establish frameworks to collect and report levels of food waste across all sectors in a comparable way. The latest data are requested to develop national food waste prevention plans, aimed to reach the objective to reduce food waste by at least 30% between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2025. To enable the process, the Commission shall adopt implementing acts by 31 December 2017 in order to establish uniform conditions for monitoring the implementation of food waste prevention measures taken by Member States of the EU.[1]

In the European Union, food waste was defined as "any food substance, raw or cooked, which is discarded, or intended or required to be discarded" since 1975 until 2000 when the old directive was repealed by Directive 2008/98/EC, which has no specific definition of food waste.[12][13][13] The directive, 75/442/EEC, containing this definition was amended in 1991 (91/156) with the addition of "categories of waste" (Annex I) and the omission of any reference to national law.[14]

European Union

  • Food loss measures the decrease in edible food mass (excluding inedible parts and seed) "throughout the part of the supply chain that specifically leads to edible food for human consumption", that is, loss at the production, postharvest and processing stages. This definition of loss includes biomass originally meant for human consumption but eventually used for some other purpose, such as fuel or animal feed.
  • Food waste is food loss occurring during the retail and final consumption stages due to the behavior of retailers and consumers[11] – that is, the throwing away of food.

A 2011 study by the

United Nations

Definitions of food waste vary, among other things, in what food waste consists of,[6] how it is produced,[7] and where or what it is discarded from or generated by.[6] Definitions also vary because certain groups do not consider (or have traditionally not considered) food waste to be a waste material, due to its applications.[8][9] Some definitions of what food waste consists of are based on other waste definitions (e.g. agricultural waste) and which materials do not meet their definitions.[10]


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