The 2013 World Environment Day theme is Think.Eat.Save. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted or lost. This volume of waste is more than the total net production of Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger. Approximately 98% of the world’s hungry live in developing nations.
Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on the environment, this year’s theme – Think.Eat.Save – encourages you to reduce your foodprint. The idea is for you to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make and empower you to make informed decisions.
While the planet is struggling to provide us with enough resources to sustain its 7 billion people (growing to 9 billion by 2050), FAO estimates that a third of global food production is either wasted or lost. Food waste is an enormous drain on natural resources and a contributor to negative environmental impacts.
In fact, global food production uses 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.
Making informed decision means, for example, that you purposefully select foods that have less of an environmental impact, such as organic foods that do not use chemicals in the production process. Choosing to buy locally can also mean that foods are not flown halfway across the world and therefore limit emissions.
Visit UNEP’s World Environment Day website here for more information.