About 14 percent of the world's food is lost before it even reaches retail. This is the conclusion of a report released this week by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The losses are particularly high for roots, tubers and oil-bearing crops (25.3 percent), followed by fruits and vegetables (21.6 percent). These numbers do not take into account food thrown away by retailers or by consumers themselves.
According to the report, the losses occur due to incorrect harvesting times, climatic conditions, incorrect harvesting techniques, poor storage and improper transport. Countries in Central and South Asia are particularly affected by food losses (20.7 percent). But North America and Europe (15.7 percent) also lose food at a rate that is above the world average (13.8 percent). Regions savvier about food waste are Australia and New Zealand (5.8 percent), the rest of Oceania (8.9 percent) as well as Eastern and Southeast Asia (7.8 percent).