Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 21 June |
Saint of the Day: St. Aloysius Gonzaga
home iconNews
line break icon

Cut food loss and waste in half by 2030, Vatican conference demands



John Burger - published on 11/13/19 - updated on 11/13/19

While 800 million go hungry every day, a third of the world's food gets lost or wasted.

According to research by the British advocacy group WRAP, about one-third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. WRAP based that estimate on statistics from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

At the same time, according to Yolanda Kakabadse, a former Ecuadorian environment minister, “800 million people go to sleep every day without food.”

For participants in a Vatican conference this week, that situation cries out for a solution to the problem of food waste and food loss. More than 50 scientists, academics, economists, corporate leaders and United Nations officials from 24 countries appealed to governments to commit to halving food waste and loss by 2030, according to Reuters.

“We call on our leaders, and on all of us, for deepened commitment to action toward halving food loss and waste by 2030 — an achievable goal based on existing knowledge and technology,” said a statement from the conference, convened by the Pontifical Council for Science.

WRAP’s chief executive Marcus Gover told participants that about 10 million tons of food is lost or wasted in Great Britain each year. He estimated that such an amount would fill St. Peter’s Square 10 times.

Grover pointed to a study showing that, out of 100 potatoes ordered by a London restaurant, only 25 were actually eaten.

Reuters explained that generally speaking, food loss refers to what is lost on the way from production to the consumer, including damage in transport or storage. Food waste, on the other hand, is that which is discarded by the consumer, restaurants or supermarkets.

“We must put an end to the culture of waste, we who pray to the Lord to give us our daily bread,” Pope Francis stated on Twitter as the conference opened. “Food waste contributes to hunger and to climate change.”

Reuters continued:

Roy Steiner, senior vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, said waste prevention programs in the United States had identified 100 million pounds of surplus food each year that could be redistributed to needy families. The final statement called for better education, behavioral change by consumers, and alliances among governments, business, environmental and religious groups.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zelda Caldwell
Catholic priest’s chapel is finalist in “Shed of the Year&#...
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Thoughtful ways to honor a priest this Father’s Day
Philip Kosloski
Who started the Catholic Church?
Zoe Romanowsky
Animated film shows the power of fatherhood in just one minute
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Larry Peterson
Korean War hero advanced on path to sainthood
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.