Once, I went to a restaurant called Flam’s, eating a traditional Alsatian cuisine: the Flammkuchen (it is REALLY good, I advise you to try it out sometimes… 😉 ). We picked a menu where we can have unlimited amount of this dish and the waiters kept bringing more food on the table, up to a point where we had to tell them to stop. But they were already done so they had to throw it away, and they do this every day. This made me think of the problems that we have with hunger and food waste in the world and what could be done to prevent this from happening. In the World, more than 795 million people do not have enough food to live a healthy life. This is around one out of nine person. This number affects mostly developing countries, where poor nutrition is the leading cause of death among children: each year 3.1 million children aged from 0 to 5 die from hunger in the world. The United Nations have been able to collect many statistics regarding world hunger and the potential solutions that could help to reduce this problem. But Hunger is not a food problem, it is a Logistics issue. (https://wfpusa.org/articles/tedups-why-hunger-logistics-problem/) The issue is to bring the appropriate food to the people who need it the most.
One third of the amount of food produced every year in the World is wasted, which is around 1.3 billion tonnes. If we could save only a third of that amount, that would be enough to feed the World. Logistics, which is the services, knowledge, and infrastructure that allow for the free movement of goods and people, has been recognized to be a key element in achieving sustainable food security, and thus a driver of competitiveness and economic development. Scientists have developed the term of agro-logistics, which can help, for example, to address the food security challenge: from “farm to fork” and all the stages in between.
It is believed that the biggest part of the waste is happening during the production stage, but the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) has found out that it was mainly happening during the consumption stage. Thanks to the advances in logistics and supply chain, a lot of progress has been done and food waste has been cut in the production stages. Studies have shown that the more complex a supply chain is, the more likely it is to have a huge waste. It is also due to the fact that poor storage can deteriorate the quality of the food and thus it has to be thrown away. This is why sustainable logistics is more than ever needed! Many governments have created a program designed to help developing countries to strengthen food security and reduce food losses. For example, the USA have helped to finance projects consisting of creating better storage facilities throughout the country, so that food could not rot. A proper storage facility can reduce waste up to 98%, which is phenomenal!
Gandhi: “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”
If you want to learn more: http://blogs.worldbank.org/transport/feed-future-let-s-make-logistics-and-transport-sustainable😉
If you want you can also watch this Ted Talks about how logistics is at the roots of world hunger and how it could be solved: