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The effects of reducing food losses and food waste on global food insecurity, natural resources, and greenhouse gas emissions

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  • Yosuke Munesue
  • Toshihiko Masui
  • Takesato Fushima

Abstract

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has estimated that in 2010–2012, 868 million people were undernourished worldwide. At the same time, FAO reported that approximately 1.3 billion tons of food were lost or wasted globally in 2007, which was equivalent to approximately one-third of the food produced for human consumption at the time. Food losses and waste deprive the poor living in developing regions of opportunities to access food, cause significant depletion of resources such as land, water, and fossil fuels, and increase the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production. In the present study, the effects of reducing food losses and waste on global food security, natural resources, and greenhouse gas emissions were evaluated using a food trade model operating under the assumption that in 2007, developed regions, as defined by the FAO, would reduce food losses and waste by up to 50 % during the stages of postharvest handling and storage, processing and packaging, distribution, and consumption. The results obtained show quantitatively that reductions in food losses in developed regions decrease the number of undernourished people in developing regions by up to 63 million, leading to decreases in the harvested area, water utilization, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production. Copyright Springer Japan 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Yosuke Munesue & Toshihiko Masui & Takesato Fushima, 2015. "The effects of reducing food losses and food waste on global food insecurity, natural resources, and greenhouse gas emissions," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(1), pages 43-77, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:envpol:v:17:y:2015:i:1:p:43-77
    DOI: 10.1007/s10018-014-0083-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Johnson, Lisa K. & Dunning, Rebecca D. & Gunter, Chris C. & Dara Bloom, J. & Boyette, Michael D. & Creamer, Nancy G., 2018. "Field measurement in vegetable crops indicates need for reevaluation of on-farm food loss estimates in North America," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 136-142.
    3. Abdelrahman Ali & Chunping Xia & Moustafa Ismaiel & N’Banan Ouattara & Irfan Mahmood & Dessalegn Anshiso, 2021. "Analysis of determinants to mitigate food losses and waste in the developing countries: empirical evidence from Egypt," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 26(6), pages 1-26, August.
    4. Cameron Hepburn & Brian O’Callaghan & Nicholas Stern & Joseph Stiglitz & Dimitri Zenghelis, 2020. "Will COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages accelerate or retard progress on climate change?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(Supplemen), pages 359-381.
    5. Xiujuan Chen & Linhai Wu & Lijie Shan & Qiuxia Zang, 2018. "Main Factors Affecting Post-Harvest Grain Loss during the Sales Process: A Survey in Nine Provinces of China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-13, March.
    6. Muslima Zahan & Alessandro Bonadonna, 2020. "The food insecurity and the young generations’ perception: A systematic review," Economia agro-alimentare, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 22(3), pages 1-22.
    7. Durba Kashyap & Tripti Agarwal, 2020. "Food loss in India: water footprint, land footprint and GHG emissions," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 2905-2918, April.
    8. Mohamad G. Abiad & Lokman I. Meho, 2018. "Food loss and food waste research in the Arab world: a systematic review," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 10(2), pages 311-322, April.
    9. Pilar Campoy-Muñoz & Manuel Alejandro Cardenete & María del Carmen Delgado & Ferran Sancho, 2021. "Food Losses and Waste: A Needed Assessment for Future Policies," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(21), pages 1-11, November.
    10. Daniel Faibil & Martin Agyemang & Owusu Amponsah & Himanshu Gupta & Simonov Kusi-Sarpong, 2021. "Assessing drivers of post-harvest losses: tangible and intangible resources’ perspective," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(11), pages 15785-15829, November.
    11. Manoj Dora & Joshua Wesana & Xavier Gellynck & Nitin Seth & Bidit Dey & Hans Steur, 2020. "Importance of sustainable operations in food loss: evidence from the Belgian food processing industry," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 290(1), pages 47-72, July.
    12. Wolfgang Britz & Hasan Dudu & Ilaria Fusacchia & Yaghoob Jafari & Roberto Roson & Luca Salvatici & Martina Sartori, 2019. "Economy-wide analysis of food waste reductions and related costs," JRC Research Reports JRC113395, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food losses and food waste; Food insecurity; Natural resources; Greenhouse gas emissions; Agricultural trade model; I30; Q17; Q18; Q24; Q25; Q54;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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