Una investigación muestra la importancia de reducir las pérdidas de alimentos, ya que casi el 20% de la producción nacional se pierde a lo largo de su cadena de suministro. Este trabajo está en línea con los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible que exigen reducir a la mitad el desperdicio de alimentos a nivel de retail y consumidores.
Reducing food losses has been identified as an essential means of increasing food security, while reducing pressure on natural resources, according to researchers. Therefore, quantifying and qualifying food loss along the supply chain in both nutritional and economic terms is paramount.
Scientists at the Universidad de Cantabria, the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF, and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú have estimated the food waste in Spain showing that a third of these losses are generated at a household level, accounting vegetables and fruits for 30% of it. “Each Spanish citizen is estimated to throw away 88 kg of food per year at home— around €180—. Since 76% could be avoided, awareness campaigns and effort actions should be addressed to consumers,” as highlighted by the researchers.
A third of these losses are generated at a household level, accounting vegetables and fruits for 30% of it
Published in the journal Food Policy, the study proposes a Nutritional Food Losses Footprint (NFLF) index to assess the quantity and both nutritional and economic value of food losses at the distinct stages of the food supply chain. “The quantity of avoidable food losses is related to the pressure on natural resources; the nutritional variable is related to food security in terms of availability and accessibility; and finally, in terms of economic value, reducing food losses could entail a cost saving, especially to consumers,” according to the authors.
The NFLF index also defines food recovery strategies for less efficient food products, providing information to producers. Results on the potential reduction of food losses show that “around a third of the food losses generated from agricultural production to processing could be prevented—equal to save €160 per person per year—,” as stated by the researchers.
In the near future, “research will go on to align measures at different stages of the supply chain to support sustainable production and consumer policies. In addition, we want to explore the final destinations of food waste,” as emphasized by the scientists. “The methodology here defined can be applied to other regions apart from the Spanish country,” they add.
This study is part of the “Ceres-Procon Project: Food production and consumption strategies for climate change mitigation”, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, through the Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER).
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