Despilfarro de alimentos también afecta al medio ambiente

El equivalente a la tercera parte de la producción mundial, más de mil millones de toneladas de alimentos, se despilfarran todos los años por un cost0 de 750 000 millones de dólares y ello provoca un nefasto impacto en el Medio Ambiente, indicó hoy la FAO.
José Graziano da Silva, director general de esta organización de la ONU para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO), declaró al presentar un informe acerca del asunto que ”el masivo despilfarro de alimentos tiene gran importancia para la seguridad alimentaria y para la seguridad en general”.

“No podemos permitir que una tercera parte del total de alimentos que producimos sea perdido o despilfarrado debido a prácticas inadecuadas, cuando 870 millones de seres humanos están cada día hambrientos”, dijo el director general.
Este inaceptable despilfarro genera también “un grave perjuicio al medio ambiente”, según la FAO. A título de ejemplo, “cada año, los alimentos producidos sin ser consumidos causan un gasto de agua equivalente al caudal anual del Volga en Rusia y son responsables de generar en la atmósfera 3.300 millones de toneladas de gases de efecto invernadero”.

Sólo en la “Asia industrializada”, región que incluye China, Japón y Corea del Sur, cerca de 200 kg de verduras y cereales por habitante son despilfarrados en promedio cada año.
A escala mundial, algo más de la mitad del despilfarro se produce en el origen del proceso, es decir en las fases de producción, de manutención o de almacenamiento. El 46% del despilfarro restante ocurre en el proceso ulterior de transformación, de distribución o de consumo.

Achim Steiner, director del Programa de la ONU para el Medio Ambiente, calificó de “fenómeno asombroso” el despilfarro de alimentos.

Según el informe, los costes económicos directos del despilfarro de productos agrícolas –excluyendo pescados y mariscos– representan unos 750.000 millones de dólares cada año en el mundo, es decir equivalente al PIB anual de Suiza.
Los otros sectores que han sufrido un impacto ambiental negativo son la industria de la carne en América del Norte y Latinoamércia, o el despilfarro de frutas en Asia, Europa o América Latina.

“La reducción del despilfarro de alimentos podría no solamente aligerar la presión sobre recursos naturales limitados sino también aliviar la necesidad de aumentar la producción de alimentos”, para dar de comer a una creciente población mundial, asegura el informe.

“La prioridad absoluta” es la prevención de pérdidas y despilfarros, pero en caso de excedentes alimentarios, la FAO aboga por su reutilización, por ejemplo su entrega gratuita a las personas mas necesitadas.
Entre las prácticas recomendadas, algunas de ellas ya en vigor, la FAO cita los nuevos sacos de plástico utilizados en Filipinas para proteger el arroz de los roedores, un nuevo sistema de embalaje en Gran Bretaña que permite mantener frutas y verduras frescos durante más tiempo, y una cadena de tiendas en España que vende al por menor según las cantidades deseadas por el cliente, evitando así la compra de cantidades superfluas que corren el riesgo de ser luego tiradas.

Fuente: Con información de AFP

Más de un tercio de la comida que se produce en el mundo acaba en el cubo de la basura.


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