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Our wasted food is a huge environmental problem – and it’s only getting worse.

Stashed in: Ecology!, food, economics, World Hunger, Ecology

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study just out in the journal Environmental Science and Technology concludes that we’re already producing way more food than the world actually needs — but a lot of the excess is being wasted, instead of used to feed people who need it. That’s a big problem for global food security as well as for the climate, given the huge amounts of greenhouse gases that go into producing the extra food — and the study suggests that the problem will only get worse in the future.

Scientists are already aware of how bad food waste is for the environment. Just last week, we reported on the staggering carbon footprint associated with wasted food — the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization reported that, in 2007, the emissions required to produce all the food that went to waste in the world amounted to at least 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, more than most countries emitted. This estimate included all the emissions required to produce the uneaten food, including emissions from soil, livestock and the energy required to run a farm.

From what I can tell this is hardly a study of food waste.  The researches compared food production to "requirements".  So you have some environmental scientist arbitrarily declaring how many calories each person in the populace *should* eat and comparing that to production.  You have to be a socialist planner to equate that to waste. 

An analogy would be to have the socialist-planning "scientists" decide pseudo-scientifically how many square feet each person "requires," then multiply this number out by a country's population and declare the difference between that and total built residential square feet as "waste".  Then, to add insult to injury, they put a little note in the abstract that says, "well some of this may just be over-consumption".  What a convoluted thought process.  Such a study would actually just quantify, in the wrappings of valid process, *nothing but* some top-down bureaucratic idea of "overconsumption,"with no way of quantifying what subset of this "overconsumption" might actually be classified as waste.  It's a good example of how socialism requires twisted thinking and scientific distortion. 

Since this article is paywalled, despite apparently being publicly funded, I can't find out what their supposed requirements for the acceptable calorie intake level of a person is.  Since it wasn't mentioned in the abstract, however, let me hazard a guess, however, that it's politically motivated and at odds with established science on the subject.

I believe you. I can't find a no paywall version of the article. 

Not feeling the politics here. 

Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

Geege, I take your comment to mean you aren't seeing the political agenda that I claimed to see. 

a) In addition to making political characterizations I also made an objective claim about how shoddy the paper's definition of "waste" is.  If you care to address that part alone I'm all ears.

b) When scientific papers use strange, hard-to-justify definitions of well-defined words it suggests a political motive. 

c) When a model involves top-down definition that fixes people's "requirements" and defines anything above that as "waste" this absolutely implies a socialist political view.  Just as it does when China defines families' "requirements" for number of children, for example, or when Cuban officials decide how much rice the country "requires" and then set a production target to meet that. 

It's not even *modern* socialist thinking, really, it's the kind of thinking USSR engaged in when they bragged that they would calculate how much of every resource was needed in order to avoid wanton overproduction and waste.  Of course neo-Marxism is just about 100% justified on an environmental basis, nowadays.  Fortunately the converse isn't 100% true. 

I find it helpful to see every statement and paper as having some agenda. 

My key questions are who benefits and where does money go.

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