US – WORLDWIDE – As a leader in the field of cold chain transport technology the Carrier organisation knows better than most the importance of preserving fresh food as it travels through the supply chain. Now the company is using that unique perspective on the global food system to highlight the stunning amount of food wasted globally and pointing out that, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the United States. Carrier is publicising a cheap, easily accessible paperback which highlights the environmental obscenity which is discarded produce.
In the new 182-page book, called Food Foolish: The Hidden Connection Between Food Waste, Hunger and Climate Change, co-authored by John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems, and Carrier’s parent company, and Eric Schultz, former chairman and CEO of Sensitech, another UTC company specialising in cold chain monitoring and visibility, the case is made for the extraordinary social and environmental opportunities which could be created by wasting less food. As Eric Schultz points out:
“The very foods we need to address global nutrition and meet consumer demand are the most water-intensive and require the greatest protection along the supply chain. Their loss and waste not only intensifies hunger, but destroys our freshwater resources.”
One-third or more of the food we produce each year is never eaten. Meanwhile, more than 800 million people, a population equivalent to the United States and European Union combined, are chronically hungry. Food waste also has a devastating environmental impact. The embodied carbon dioxide emissions in food waste alone represent 3.3 billion tonnes. That’s the energy used to produce food that’s never eaten, including fuel for tractors used for planting and harvest, electricity for water pumps in the field and the power for processing and packaging facilities. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, the water used to grow the food we throw away is greater than the water used by any single nation on the planet.
The impacts of food waste are magnified by our growing planet. The world’s population is expected to grow by another 2 billion people by 2050, with the added challenge of feeding more. Food Foolish was co-written by Mandyck and Schultz and features forewords from Philippe Cousteau, founder of EarthEcho International and Emmy-nominated television host, and Barton Seaver, explorer with National Geographic and director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. John Mandyck says:
“Hunger, food security, climate emissions and water shortages are anything but foolish topics. The way we systematically waste food in the face of these challenges, however, is one of humankind’s unintended but most foolish practices. We hope this book will be a catalyst for a much needed connected global dialogue on an issue that we believe is essential to the sustainability of the planet.
“We already produce enough food to feed 10 billion people, everyone today and those expected by 2050. We must implement readily available strategies to avoid food loss and extend food supplies, including energy efficient, sustainable and affordable technologies that better preserve food during transport and distribution, improved food safety standards and a change in consumer behaviour. When we waste less, we feed more. Without action, the low-hanging fruit for reducing climate change will continue to literally rot before our eyes.”