Forty percent of globally produced food is lost (at production, harvest, storage and processing the stages) or wasted (at consumption points) thus costing the global economy more than US $1 trillion in losses per year and exacerbating poverty and hunger. Food waste lowers the profit of food producers and increases the cost on consumers, which in turn reduces access to food and undermines food and nutrition security. Moreover, the environmental costs of food loss and waste amounts to US $700 billion.
To limit temperature increase to 1.5C, we need to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 (IPCC). All countries that are part signatories to the Paris Agreement have been requested to submit Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) that communicate their official plans to limit global warming to 1.5C. Many of the carbon mitigation plans involve reducing and/or avoiding emissions, plus carbon sequestration.
Urban Food Systems
Many cities are faced with the challenge of rising urban food insecurity and the growing problem of rising food waste. In 2015, 19.8% of the urban population was moderately food insecure and 7.3% severely food insecure (WB and FAO, 2017). The increasing high consumption of packaged and ultra-processed food with low nutritional value has not only led to a rise in obesity, micronutrient deficiency, and diet-related non-communicable diseases, but is also driving the unsustainable agricultural expansion. Today, nearly 900 million men, women and children live in extreme poverty and suffer disproportionately from food insecurity. This number is increasing after the Covid pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.