IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Achieving the Food Security Strategy by Quantifying Food Loss and Waste. A Case Study of the Chinese Economy


  • Daniel Durán-Sandoval

    (Instituto L.R. Klein, UUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain)

  • Gemma Durán-Romero

    (Departamento de Estructura Económica y Economía del Desarrollo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain)

  • Ana M. López

    (Instituto L.R. Klein, UUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain)


Undernourished and food insecurity are recognized as two highly relevant topics. Approximately 820 million people in the world are undernourished and 2 billion people have moderate or severe food insecurity (FAO). In addition, globally roughly one-third of food is not consumed and is wasted. This article aims to provide an updated estimate of food loss and waste (FLW) in China as, in the period 2016–2018, there were still 122 million people in this country experiencing undernourishment. In this research, we use a top-down mass balance approach, discuss how it affects the achievement of SDG 2, Zero Hunger, that it is linked also to target 12.3 that “seeks to halve global food waste at retail and consumer levels, as well as to reduce food loss during production and supply” (United Nations). We point out some challenges that private and public policies still need to overcome to reduce FLW. The results of this research may contribute a more accurate baseline for the design of public policies and strategies related to FLW and the corresponding SDGs.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Durán-Sandoval & Gemma Durán-Romero & Ana M. López, 2021. "Achieving the Food Security Strategy by Quantifying Food Loss and Waste. A Case Study of the Chinese Economy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-15, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:21:p:12259-:d:673623

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alexander, Peter & Brown, Calum & Arneth, Almut & Finnigan, John & Moran, Dominic & Rounsevell, Mark D.A., 2017. "Losses, inefficiencies and waste in the global food system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 190-200.
    2. Ching-Hsu Huang & Shih-Min Liu & Nai-Yun Hsu, 2020. "Understanding Global Food Surplus and Food Waste to Tackle Economic and Environmental Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(7), pages 1-18, April.
    3. Cicatiello, Clara & Franco, Silvio & Pancino, Barbara & Blasi, Emanuele, 2016. "The value of food waste: An exploratory study on retailing," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 96-104.
    4. Seona Candy & Graham Turner & Kirsten Larsen & Kate Wingrove & Julia Steenkamp & Sharon Friel & Mark Lawrence, 2019. "Modelling the Food Availability and Environmental Impacts of a Shift Towards Consumption of Healthy Dietary Patterns in Australia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(24), pages 1-27, December.
    5. Gang Liu, 2014. "Food Losses and Food Waste in China: A First Estimate," OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers 66, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Aschemann-Witzel, Jessica & de Hooge, Ilona E. & Almli, Valérie L., 2021. "My style, my food, my waste! Consumer food waste-related lifestyle segments," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    2. Silvio Franco & Clara Cicatiello, 2018. "Food waste due to over-nutrition in the Italians? dietary habits," RIVISTA DI STUDI SULLA SOSTENIBILITA', FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2018(1), pages 159-180.
    3. Pongsun Bunditsakulchai & Chen Liu, 2021. "Integrated Strategies for Household Food Waste Reduction in Bangkok," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(14), pages 1-21, July.
    4. Min, Shi & Wang, Xiaobing & Yu, Xiaohua, 2021. "Does dietary knowledge affect household food waste in the developing economy of China?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    5. Zeke Marshall & Paul E. Brockway, 2020. "A Net Energy Analysis of the Global Agriculture, Aquaculture, Fishing and Forestry System," Biophysical Economics and Resource Quality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 1-27, June.
    6. Delgado, Luciana & Schuster, Monica & Torero, Maximo, 2017. "Reality of Food Losses: A New Measurement Methodology," MPRA Paper 80378, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. António Miguel Martins & Susana Cró, 2021. "The Impact of Tourism on Solid Waste Generation and Management Cost in Madeira Island for the Period 1996–2018," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(9), pages 1-16, May.
    8. Wansoo Kim & Chen Che & Chul Jeong, 2022. "Food Waste Reduction from Customers’ Plates: Applying the Norm Activation Model in South Korean Context," Land, MDPI, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, January.
    9. EiÄ aitÄ—, Ovidija & Baležentis, Tomas & RibaÅ¡auskienÄ—, Erika & MorkÅ«nas, Mangirdas & MelnikienÄ—, Rasa & Å treimikienÄ—, Dalia, 2022. "Food waste in the retail sector: A survey-based evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    10. Matteo Vittuari & Fabio De Menna & Silvia Gaiani & Luca Falasconi & Alessandro Politano & Jana Dietershagen & Andrea Segrè, 2017. "The Second Life of Food: An Assessment of the Social Impact of Food Redistribution Activities in Emilia Romagna, Italy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 9(10), pages 1-14, October.
    11. Roberto Ruggieri & Giuliana Vinci & Marco Ruggeri & Henry Sardaryan, 2020. "Food losses and food waste: The Industry 4.0 opportunity for the sustainability challenge," RIVISTA DI STUDI SULLA SOSTENIBILITA', FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 0(1), pages 159-177.
    12. Cătălina Chinie & Isabelle Biclesanu & Francesco Bellini, 2021. "The Impact of Awareness Campaigns on Combating the Food Wasting Behavior of Consumers," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(20), pages 1-17, October.
    13. Anriquez, Gustavo & Foster, William & Ortega, Jorge & Santos Rocha, Jozimo, 2021. "In search of economically significant food losses: Evidence from Tunisia and Egypt," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    14. Chinie Alexandra-Catalina, 2020. "Challenges for reducing food waste," Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Sciendo, vol. 14(1), pages 819-828, July.
    15. Anna Bordiean & Michał Krzyżaniak & Mariusz J. Stolarski & Dumitru Peni, 2020. "Growth Potential of Yellow Mealworm Reared on Industrial Residues," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 10(12), pages 1-12, December.
    16. Marzena Tomaszewska & Beata Bilska & Agnieszka Tul-Krzyszczuk & Danuta Kołożyn-Krajewska, 2021. "Estimation of the Scale of Food Waste in Hotel Food Services—A Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(1), pages 1-16, January.
    17. Clara Cicatiello & Emanuele Blasi & Claudia Giordano & Angelo Martella & Silvio Franco, 2020. "“If only I Could Decide”: Opinions of Food Category Managers on in-Store Food Waste," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(20), pages 1-19, October.
    18. Mariarosaria Lombardi & Marco Costantino, 2021. "A Hierarchical Pyramid for Food Waste Based on a Social Innovation Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(9), pages 1-16, April.
    19. Massimiliano Cerciello, 2021. "Spatial patterns in food waste at the local level. A preliminary analysis for Italian data," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 83-101, February.
    20. Zaid Alshabanat & Abdulrahman Alkhorayef & Hedi Ben Haddad & Imed Mezghani & Abdessalem Gouider & Adel Tlili & Mohamed. A. Allouche & Kais A. Gannouni, 2021. "Quantifying Food Loss and Waste in Saudi Arabia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(16), pages 1-21, August.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:21:p:12259-:d:673623. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: MDPI Indexing Manager (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.