3 June 2013


According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger. This enormous imbalance in lifestyles has devastating effects on the environment. FAO estimates that a third of global food production is either wasted or lost. If food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used its production are also lost, e.g. It takes about 1,000 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk and about 16,000 litres goes into a cow’s food to make a hamburger. see FAO website

Global food production occupies 25% of all habitable land and is responsible for 70% of fresh water consumption, 80% of deforestation, and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is the largest single driver of biodiversity loss and land-use change.

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day (June 5th) is Think.Eat.Save.

Some things you can do include selecting foods that have less of an environmental impact, such as organic foods that do not use chemicals in the production process and buy locally so that foods are not flown halfway across the world thereby limiting emissions. http://www.australianfoodsovereigntyalliance.org/

Adapted from the Columban Mission Institute  'Growing a culture of Peace' bulletin.

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