Unseen Passage: Processing and Recycling

Better processing and recycling can feed 11 per cent of the world’s population, many of whom are in India, that goes hungry.

Food loss and waste is an area in the food and agriculture sector where adaptations to climate change are important. Food loss and waste generates about 8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent study predicts that emissions associated with food waste could increase further. Hence, the message for World Food Day, observed on October 16, was that “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”. Natural capital lost : Meeting the food needs of a growing population in India (1.7 billion by 2050) while reducing food loss and waste poses a serious challenge.

Wasting a kilogram of wheat and rice would mean wasting 1,500 and 3,500 litres of water respectively that goes into their production. Globally, almost 250 km3 of water and 1.4 billion hectares of land are devoted to producing food that is lost or wasted.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), every year around 1.7 billion tonnes, or almost one third of food produced for human consumption, are lost or wasted globally.

The associated economic, environmental and social costs of this loss are around $1 trillion, $700 billion and $900 billion per year respectively. In India, the value of food wastage (harvest and post-harvest losses of major agricultural produce) is estimated at around ` 92,000 crore per annum at 2014 wholesale prices. In the food value chain, 24 per cent of global food loss and waste occurs at the production stage, 24 per cent during handling and storage, and 35 per cent at consumption.

These three stages taken together account for more than 80 per cent of global food loss and waste. Quantifying food waste along the value chain by leveraging therecently released UN Global Food Loss and Waste Protocol as a framework can help India.

Q. On the basis of your reading and understanding of the above passage, answer the following:

  1. Can better processing and recycling of food contribute to the reduction of climate change?
  2. The wastage of food leads to the wastage of which other resource?
  3. In which stage of food value chain, maximum global loss and wastage of food takes place ?
  4. 80% of global food loss and wastage takes place in __________.
  5. The environmental cost of food loss and wastage is :
    1. $1 trillion
    2. $900 billion
    3. $700 billion
    4. $700 trillion
  6. The volume of water used to produce a kilogram of rice is:
    1. 1500 litres
    2. 2500 litres
    3. 2000 litres
    4. 3500 litres
  7. Food wastage globally every year is equal to:
    1. 1.7 trillion.
    2. India’s population by 2050.
    3. estimated India’s population by 2050.
    4. none of the above.
  8. India can deal with the problem of food loss and wastage if:
    1. it uses the UN Global Food Loss and Waste Protocol optimally.
    2. it quantifies the total food wastage by following the UN Global Food Loss and Waste Protocol.
    3. It produce more.
    4. None of the above

Answers

  1. Yes.
  2. The wastage of food leads to the wastage of water.
  3. Consumption stage.
  4. India.
  5. $700 billion
  6. 3500 litres
  7. estimated India’s population by 2050.
  8. it quantifies the total food wastage by following the UN Global Food Loss and Waste Protocol.

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