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Wasted Food Around the World - 3/16/15

Americans are said to be wasteful.  We are not alone.  As reported by the U.K-based nonprofit Water and Resources Action Program, the world wastes 400 billion dollars in food each year.  The vast majority of food is wasted in Asia, followed by Europe and North America. 

The report, which was recently featured by CNNMoney, is based on United Nations estimates that consumers waste two hundred and eighty million tons of food each year, enough to fill MetLife stadium in New Jersey to its limits five hundred and sixty times.  The UK nonprofit, which calls itself WRAP for short, indicates that tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars of food could be saved if consumers were more careful.  Food distributors could also contribute by reducing the average temperatures of refrigerators or designing better packaging. 

The United Nations estimates that 415 million tons of food are wasted at the agricultural level every year and that another 600 million tons are wasted after harvest even before it reaches consumers.  WRAP estimates that one quarter of food waste in the developing world could be eliminated simply with better refrigeration equipment.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.