The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is observed to draw human interest in agri-food-nature dependence. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), reducing food loss is of significant importance as it contributes to the realisation of broader improvements towards achieving food security, safety, and quality to deliver nutritional outcomes. September 29 was designated as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste by the United Nations in order to promote global efforts and collective action against responsible consumption and production of food.
This day is specially marked to spread awareness about sustainable consumption and production of Agriculture-based food products. It is deemed essential in circumstances where thousands of people across the impoverished nations are standing on the brink of universal food crisis. The situation has mostly seen a downward graph since 2014. On the International Day of awareness of food loss and waste 2021, it is a clear call to action for the public and local authorities to ensure reduction in food loss, said the UN FAO.
According to the UN, globally around 14% of food produced is lost in harvest and retail. Another significant quantity is wasted in retail to consumption level. Overall, about 17% of the produced food is wasted in one or the other way. As per UN estimates, around 11% is wasted in households, 5% in transportation and 2% in retail.
Looking at the aforementioned figure, the UN FAO has decided to reinstate "Stop food loss and waste. For the people. For the planet." The theme was announced in 2020, the year when the UN agency first marked the day. The theme for the International Day of Food Loss and Waste 2021 also aims to raise awareness about why it is important to reduce food loss and waste.
Food waste not only undermines the sustainability of the world system but also indirectly adds to the climate crisis. When food is wasted all the resources-- water, land, energy-- invested in producing it is also wasted. Additionally, when the food is disposed of in landfills, this leads to greenhouse gas emissions, in turn, climate change. According to the UN, nearly 38% of energy is used in the global food system. Lastly, wastage of food also contributes to an increase in food prices across the world.