UN Report: Think Eat Save – Tracking Progress on Food Waste

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

GS-2 Mains 

Question : Discuss the findings of the UN report “Think Eat Save” on food waste, emphasizing global trends, environmental impact, and the situation in India.

Key Highlights

  • Global Food Waste:
    • 05 billion tonnes wasted in 2022 (19% of available food).
    • 631 million tonnes wasted at household level (60% of total).
  • Food Insecurity:
    • Food waste persists despite 783 million hungry people and widespread food insecurity.
  • Global Problem:
    • Not just a “rich country” problem – similar waste levels across income groups.
  • Urban-Rural Disparity:
    • Middle-income countries: rural areas waste less than urban.
    • Hotter countries: potentially waste more due to reliance on fresh food with inedible parts and lack of cold chain.

Environmental Impact

  • Food waste generates 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions (almost 5x aviation sector).

Food Wastage in India

  • 2 million tonnes wasted annually despite high hunger rates.
  • Per capita waste: 55 kg/year.
  • Rural India wastes less compared to urban areas.
    • India ranks 111th out of 125 countries on the Global Hunger Index (2023) – “serious” hunger severity.


  • Measurement:
    • Improved data collection is crucial (India lacks national estimates).
  • Policy Interventions:
    • Set national targets and policies aligned with UN SDG 12.3 (halving food waste by 2030).
    • Only 4 G20 countries + EU have adequate tracking data.
  • Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs):
    • Collaboration between governments and businesses for effective strategies.
  • Consumer Awareness:
    • Education and awareness campaigns to reduce consumer waste.
  • Innovation and Technology:
    • Advancements in storage, packaging, supply chain management, and surplus food apps.
  • Sustainable Practices:
    • Improve harvesting, storage, processing, and distribution to minimize food loss.


  • Concerted global effort is needed to tackle food waste.
  • Strategies include national plans, PPPs, supply chain improvements, reducing smallholder losses, and shifting consumer behavior.
  • Addressing food waste can mitigate climate change, enhance food security, and promote sustainable development.


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