The report emphasizes that poor diets today pose a greater threat to public health than malaria, tuberculosis or measles, while at the same time about one third of all food produced for human consumption never consumer. The summary was prepared by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The report notes that foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, dairy products, meat and fish are rich in nutrients but are also highly perishable and therefore susceptible to losses throughout the food system. To address all forms of malnutrition and promote healthy diets, FAO panel member and director-general José Graziano da Silva notes that "we need to implement food systems that increase the availability, accessibility, and consumption of fresh, nutrient-rich foods for all By taking specific measures to reduce the loss and waste of fresh food and nutritious food is a key part of this effort. " The summary proposes a series of policy actions throughout the food system: educating stakeholders; pay attention to perishable foods; improve public and private infrastructure; encourage innovation; and address the lack of data and knowledge gaps on food waste and residues.
Speaker and President of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Srinath K. Reddy, welcomed the briefing notes and said: "The global group's policy actions show how reducing food losses and waste can play a key role in improving the poor and inadequate diets of about 3 billion people and are many sometimes responsible for persistent malnutrition, as well as an increase in overweight and obesity, with the consequent increase in noncommunicable diseases. "
FAO data indicate that in low-income countries food is more lost during harvesting, storage, processing and transportation, while in high-income countries the problem is a waste of both retail and consumption. Together, they have a direct impact on the number of calories and nutrients actually available for consumption. The loss and waste of micronutrients are of particular concern because of their direct impact on well-being, learning ability and productivity. Globally, agriculture produces 22% more vitamin A than we need. However, after loss and waste, the quantity available for human consumption is 11% less than that required.
"Reducing the loss and waste of nutritious food – emphasizes the FAO – could therefore produce substantial health benefits and also provide economic returns, as the value of food lost or wasted is estimated at $ 1 trillion annually. foods already produced would also prevent the waste of water, land and energy that were used for their production. "
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