5 Shocking Facts About Food Wastage in India

5 Shocking Facts About Food Wastage in India

India is the world’s most populated country with over 1.42 billion people. Despite having these many mouths to feed, the country faces critical food wastage problems. Here are a few not-so-fun facts about India’s food wastage problem.

Fact 1: In India, the annual household food wastage amounts to 68,760,163 tonnes. That’s about 50 kilograms per person! (From UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme). In terms of monetary value, this translates to a write-off of Rs. 92,000 crores annually (2).

Fact 2: One-third of all food produced in India is either wasted or gets spoilt before it is eaten(1). A majority of this waste comes from packaged goods and perishables.

Fact 3: A lot of wasted food finds its way to landfills where it decays, releasing methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. A significant portion winds up in water bodies, creating unintended imbalances in local ecosystems (1).

Fact 4: Given India now has the highest global population; the malnutrition rate is 22%. Reduction in wastage can help tackle this problem greatly (1).

Fact 5: A major cause of food wastage in India is the common hoarding mentality. People stock up well beyond the amount they can realistically consume, and the food inevitably goes bad. Furthermore, food is wasted particularly more often in India given the surplus of food prepared for typical Indian weddings and festivities (1).