Consumers encouraged to eat "funny fruit" to fight food waste

Countries More News Top Stories
Consumers encouraged to eat "funny fruit" to fight food waste

Two United Nations agencies are encouraging consumers to add "funny fruit" to their diets in a campaign to reduce global food waste. Strange strawberry _ University of California Cooperative Extension _ small

The UN Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched "Think, Eat, Save" last week to teach simple steps to reduce the 1.3 billion tons (MT) of food lost or wasted each year.

"Many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or colour are deemed not 'right'. Buying these perfectly good fruit, at the farmer's market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste," the campaign said.

Fruits and vegetables rank as one of the most impacted food categories reaching almost 50% of output lost of wasted during consumption, distribution, harvest, postharvest and other agriculture processes.

Beyond buying funny fruit, the initiative also encourages consumers to shop smarter, understand expiration dates and zero down food in the refrigerator.

The initiative also asks retailers to perform audits to identify high waste areas and asks restaurants to offer flexible portion sizes to cut down on discarded food.

According to a recent FAO study, about a third of global food production is lost or wasted. The study attributes half of this to retailers and consumers in industrialized areas throwing out consumption-quality food, or about 300 million MT of edible food. FAO estimates that such waste could feed around 900 million people.

North America and Oceania take the top spot for the greatest portion of food loss and waste, followed by Europe. South and Southeast Asia rank last.

Photo: University of California Cooperative Extension

Subscribe to our newsletter