“Shocking” amount of fruit and vegetables wasted, researchers say

  • “Shocking” amount of fruit and vegetables wasted, researchers say
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    More than a third of fruit and vegetables never make it to store shelves, because it is deformed or the wrong size, according to the study.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/agri-business/agri-food/shocking-amount-of-fruit-and-veg-wasted-researchers-say-37230021.html
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/agri-business/agri-food/article37230019.ece/7092c/AUTOCROP/h342/ipanews_8b1fde19-1330-42d0-903d-97fd43a3a04d_1

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More than a third of fruit and vegetables never make it to store shelves, because it is deformed or the wrong size, according to the study.

A study by the University estimates that more than 50 million tonnes of fresh produce is grown all over Europe every year is thrown away, mainly because it does not meet the standards of supermarkets and the consumer, how it should look.

In the UK, this figure is up to 4.5 million tons, the team offers.

The thesis describes the food loss and food waste (FLW) as “one of the great scourges of our time” when 10% of the world population is chronically hungry.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, who researched how much food is thrown away within the European economic area (EEA) every year before it reaches the point of sale.

Encouraging people to be less picky about how their fruit, vegetables and potatoes look can go a long way to cut waste
Stephen Porter, University Of Edinburgh

Their findings said: “the use of aesthetics for the classification and the adoption of fresh produce for sale and consumption built in standards food quality and standards of the European Union.

“The sector of food distribution in Europe and the UK oligopolistic in nature; a small number of supermarket chains control a significant share of the market. The impact of these ‘multiple’ allows you to enter criteria for additional signature “quality.”

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“Products that do not meet these standards, may be lost from the food chain, not seeing the supermarket shelf – it can’t pass a supplier, or even leave the farm.”

The team said they found few direct measurements of such losses, but continued: “we estimate to avoid PPO from on-farm cosmetic grade-outs to 4500 tonnes / year (4.5 million tons per year) in the UK and 51,500 tonnes per year (51.5 million tons per year) in the European economic area (EEA).

“According to our estimates, more than a third of the total agricultural production is lost due to aesthetic considerations.”

The University said the effects of climate change on the cultivation of unsuccessful dishes, some of which can be allocated to fields that are used in animal feed, or otherwise reused, which is equivalent to the carbon emissions of nearly 400,000 cars.

Scientists suggest that increasing awareness among consumers, and the movement to purchases rationally, can stimulate the sales of more “ugly” vegetables.

They also suggest the broader use of the deformation produced, perhaps in chopped or processed goods, or the sale discount to charities.

Professor David ray, University school of Earth Sciences, said: “the scale of food that is wasted when it is perfectly safe to eat shocking in a time when one tenth of the world’s population are chronically hungry”.

Stephen porter, also from the school, added: “encouraging people to be less picky about how their fruit, vegetables and potatoes look can go a long way to cutting waste, reducing the impact of food production on the climate, and the weakening of the food chain.”

The study was published in the journal of cleaner Production.

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