Food Waste Definitions Of The Food Supply Chain Essay

1487 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
Food Waste Definitions
Large amounts of nutritious produce go to waste in farm fields, get discarded as imperfect for markets, or perish at various stages of the food supply chain. A report by the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) details the substantial opportunities for waste throughout the food supply chain. Food waste starts at the farm, for reasons such as weather (droughts or floods), pest infestations, damage by machinery, and blemishes or irregular sizes making the food less than perfect for distribution to market. Additional waste occurs in the processing stage due to improper handling, improper temperature control, compliance with food safety regulations (such as food exceeding its “sell-by” date), and conversion of the raw food into other food products. Additional food is lost in stores due to overstocking or incorrect stock rotation, as well as package and label damage making the product less than perfect in the eyes of the consumer. Still more food is wasted in the consumer and food service sectors due to excessive portions that cannot be consumed at one time, over-preparation of food, expanded menu choices (which add complexity to planning), and cooking losses and spillage (Kantor, et al., 1997).
Feeding America’s network of food organizations now provides emergency assistance to 37 million individuals annually – a 46% increase over figures from the 2006 Hunger in America report. The 2010 report also indicates that 17…

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