Hello BEST community,

As most of you are aware, food waste is a global problem to the extent that municipal and state governments around the world have started passing legislation in an attempt to correct it.  For this week’s BioEnergy and Sustainability School intern discussion, I will like to share an article I found detailing a lesser known problem—food loss.  What is the difference between food waste and food loss?  Food waste occurs closer to the retail end of the food spectrum.  Food loss on the other hand, occurs closer to the production side.  Food waste is most often attributed to affluence.  For example, 30% of the food grown in the United States is wasted.  Food losses is a problem that negatively impacts underdeveloped and developing countries.  Most often food losses are attributed to infrastructure problems and can account for up to 20% of the food that doesn’t reach hungry mouths.  The majority of the modeled population growth in years to come with be in the developing world, with Africa’s population expected to double by 2050.  If the food loss problem isn’t corrected, these areas that already suffer from strained soils, deforestation, and water shortages may run out of resources to lose.

One-third of food is lost or wasted: What can be done
Written by Elizabeth Royte, National Geographic
Published October 13, 2014

Shane Philhower
Undergraduate Intern
2015 BioEnergy & Sustainability School
Soil and Water Science Department