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Rejected food turns into gourmet meal at the UNEP GC/GMEF

In support of the initiative Think.Eat.Save Reduce Your Foodprint, Ministers were served meals made from food rejected by retailers due to cosmetic reasons

25.02.2013 |UNEP

Every year, an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted. Especially in the developed world and increasingly in the developing world, food is discarded or rejected due to cosmetic reasons.

Together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Feeding the 5000 and Messe Dusseldorf, the UNEP had launched a campaign in January to highlight unnecessary waste of food. About 1.5 tonnes of food were sourced from farmers in Kenya whose crops were rejected from bigger retailers in Europe. The reason for rejection was that they did not comply with stringent standards of appearance.

The use or unwanted vegetables for the meals was to highlight to policy and decision makers how 'ugly' food is still perfectly edible. To cut down on the food waste, it is necessary to develop new standards for appearance and strategies of alternative marketing. Also inefficient practices, confusion over date labels and over-buying are common reasons for food-waste.

The total annual food waste in the industrialized world is estimated at 300 million tonnes. This food is discarded despite still being fit for consumption. On a mathematical basis, this amount could feed the estimated 870 million hungry people in the world without any problems.


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