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The world wastes a staggering amount of food — here's the breakdown by type

Photo: Brian Finke/National Geographic.

Today, a third of the planet’s food goes to waste — enough to feed two billion people.

Food is wasted at every stage from farm to table, often because of how it looks.

This happens in fields, where unpicked, “ugly” produce rot in fields. It happens in grocery stores, where workers reject blemished, but edible, fruits and veggies. And it happens in our own homes, where we ignore leftovers and trash perishables before they’ve expired.

This is a moral issue. And as National Geographic points out, we could use all this wasted food to feed 800 million starving worldwide twice over.

The magazine recently looked at data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It found that while the world wastes all sorts of food, some things are wasted more than others.

Here’s how they rank, with percentages of how much we waste globally every year.

7. Milk, yogurt, and cheese — 17.1%.

No wood fibers in here #carollos #parmesan #cheese #italy #foodporn #igkansascity #cindyskansaskitchen

A post shared by Cindy Hoedel (@cindyhoedel) on

6. Chicken, beef, and pork — 21.5%.


A post shared by Jagen im Hochstift (@waidmaenner_des_hochstifts) on

5. Lentils, green peas, chickpeas, and seeds that make oil — 22.1%.

4. Cereal, bread, and rice — 29.1%.

3. Tuna, salmon, shrimp, and other seafood — 34.7%.

2. Fruits and vegetables — 45.7%.

1. Potatoes, beets, radishes, and carrots — 46.2%.

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