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Report: One-Third of World's Food Goes to Waste

Finish your peas and carrots and you can join the "clean plate club." That's what my parents told my brother and me when we were growing up. They had lived through the depression and wanted to be sure nothing at our table went to waste.


A report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) this week reminds me of the painful truth behind our lighthearted family tradition. It sends up an alarm about the astounding 1.3 billion tons of food it says are wasted or lost every year - about a third of the planet's food production - while an estimated 870 million people go hungry each day.

The report makes some distinctions between "lost" and "wasted" food - but you can get an idea of the scale when you read the FAO's list of people who need to take action: farmers and fishers; food processors and supermarkets; local and national governments; individual consumers.

One key solution suggested by the FAO will be familiar to those who follow the AARP Drive to End Hunger. It involves "finding secondary markets or donating extra food to feed vulnerable members of society."

During this " Hunger Action Month," Jeff Gordon and DTEH are ramping up their activities in this area as they fight senior hunger in their ongoing campaign.

The "clean plate club" might be out of fashion, but the campaign to end hunger and combat waste is accelerating.

 Photo: Nick Saltmarsh/Flickr

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