Steve Salgra Rema

Fellow, Dismislab
Not daily, but 100 crore tons of food wasted annually
This article is more than 2 months old

Not daily, but 100 crore tons of food wasted annually

Steve Salgra Rema

Fellow, Dismislab

Multiple Bangladeshi news outlets have recently spread news reports with the headline, “100 crore tonnes of food wasted daily worldwide.” Subsequently, this claim has been circulated on Facebook as photo cards by some media outlets. Additionally, videos echoing the same claim have been uploaded on YouTube. However, upon verification by Dismislab, it was found that the claim was false. According to 2022 statistics, over 100 crore tonnes of food were wasted globally over the year, not daily.

On March 27th, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its Food Waste Index Report. The report revealed that in 2022, nearly 19% of all edible food, totaling more than 100 crore tonnes, was wasted globally across households, food service, and retail sectors. Shortly after, on March 28th at 7:54 AM, DBC News published a report titled “100 crore tonnes of food wasted daily in homes: UN.” Merely four minutes later, at 7:58 AM, Daily Inqilab also published a report with the same headline. Following suit, on March 29th, Somoy TV, Channel 24, RTV, Desh Rupantor, and Protidiner Sangbad also disseminated news reports containing this inaccurate information. This misinformation resurfaced in a report by Jai Jai Din published on March 30th.

Some news outlets, such as Somoy TV and Channel-24, circulated photo cards (1, 2) on Facebook containing incorrect information. These photo cards claimed that 100 crore tonnes of food are wasted daily worldwide. Social media users shared these photo cards, further spreading misinformation. For instance, one user shared Somoy TV’s photo card with a caption stating, “Meanwhile, Muslims in Palestine are starving and resorting to eating grass to survive.” Another user uploaded Channel 24’s photo card and wrote, “80 crore people are starving worldwide every day. More than 100 crore tonnes of food are being wasted daily across the globe, according to a UN report.” Similarly misleading videos with similar claims have also appeared on YouTube channels (1, 2).

According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index Report 2024, in 2022, 1.05 billion (105 crore) tons of food were thrown away. Of this, 28% of the food waste took place in places related to food services like restaurants, canteens, and hotels. Butchers and grocery stores made up 12% of the food waste. However, the highest portion of food waste, amounting to 60%, occurred in households. Statistics indicate that in Bangladesh, an average person throws away 82 kg of food per year in their homes. In the South Asian country of the Maldives, this waste adds up to 207 kg, in Pakistan 130 kg, in Afghanistan 127 kg, in Nepal 93 kg, in Sri Lanka 76 kg, and in India, the average is 55 kg. Bhutan boasts the lowest food waste rate in the region, with an average of just 19 kg per person discarded annually.

A report published on the official website of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) delves deeper into this issue. The report quotes UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen as saying, ‘Food waste is a global tragedy. Millions will go hungry today as food is thrown away across the world.’

The UNEP official YouTube channel also emphasizes that “In 2022, the world threw away 1.05 billion tonnes of food”.