Buying 'funny fruit' will help feed the world: UN

Jan 22, 2013
Vendors sell fruits and vegetables at the El Mayoreo street market in Tegucigalpa on October 6, 2012. Make a shopping list and buy "funny fruit," it will cut food waste and help "shape a sustainable future," the United Nations Environment Programme and Food and Agriculture Organzation said.

Make a shopping list and buy "funny fruit," it will cut food waste and help "shape a sustainable future," the United Nations Environment Programme and Food and Agriculture Organzation said on Tuesday.

The UNEP, FAO and partners unveiled a campaign dubbed "Think-Eat-Save Reduce Your Foodprint" to change global practices that result in the loss of 1.3 billion tonnes of each year.

The programme is aimed primarily at consumers, food retailers and the hotel and restaurant industry, and is based on three recommended actions, think, eat, and save.

"In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically," a statement quoted UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner as saying.

FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva pointed out that in industrialised nations, around 300 million tonnes of food are wasted each year, "because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption."

That is more food than is produced in sub-Saharan Africa, and is enough to feed the estimated 830 million people who now go hungry worldwide, he added.

The programme estimates the overall cost of wasted food at about $1.0 trillion (751 billion euros) per year, with most losses occuring in production stages such as harvesting, processing and distribution.

Consumers can participate in a global effort by respecting a few simple recommendations, the agencies said.

Planning meals, making shopping lists and avoiding impulse buying helps, as does staying alert "to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need."

Another good idea is to "buy funny fruit" or vegetables that would otherwise be thrown out because their size, shape or colour do not meet accustomed standards.

Paying attention to expiry dates and "zeroing down your fridge" with recipes that use up food set to go bad helps as well, as does freezing food, asking restaurants for smaller portions, eating leftovers, composting food or donating it to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters.

Retailers can offer discounts for food that is nearing its sell-by date, standardizing labels and donating more food.

Restaurants were urged to "limit menu choices and introduce flexible portioning," auditing how much food they waste, and setting up "staff engagement programmes."

Finally, an Internet site, thinkeatsave.org is to serve as a global platform for sharing information on other initiatives that people come up with.

Explore further: California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

Related Stories

One in seven suffer malnourishment: UN food agency

May 30, 2012

One in seven people suffer from malnourishment, the head of the UN's food agency said Wednesday in a report released ahead of a summit on sustainable development to be held in Rio de Janeiro June 20-22.

High food prices top UN agenda on World Food Day

Oct 16, 2012

The United Nations focused World Food Day talks on Tuesday on lowering food prices in the face of droughts in Australia and the United States and a drop in harvests in Europe and the Black Sea region.

Recommended for you

Pipeline that leaked wasn't equipped with auto shut-off

33 minutes ago

The pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil on the California coast was the only pipe of its kind in the county not required to have an automatic shut-off valve because of a court fight nearly three ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

May 23, 2015

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2013
Restaurants were urged to "limit menu choices and introduce flexible portioning," auditing how much food they waste, and setting up "staff engagement programmes."


Some people need to get a day job, others need to quit.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.