Michel Balzy, Sculptcure , 2003-2007, arance, dimensioni

        variabili, Torino PAV Courtesy


Although it is a seemingly obvious concept, there is no single definition of food waste.


There are in fact two expressions in English that are alternatively used in this regard:  'food waste' and ' food losses'.

The first one – without distinguishing between edible and inedible food – refers to rejected foodstuffs in different stages of the food chain, the second one refers only to edible products that are 'lost' in the various stages of the supply chain, which therefore are not sold nor consumed by those for which they were produced.

 We wanted to highlight this terminological because it brings about a level of uncertainty about how much is wasted, being quite clear that the data gathered vary depending on the object of the survey.

There are, therefore, different surveys on the extent of waste which, precisely for the reason we mentioned above, might appear unreliable but they actually aren’t. Here are some few examples: according to FAO, 1/3 of the entire world’s agricultural production is wasted. According to the Polytechnic University of Milan, in Italy the extent of waste is  6,000,000 tons per year, 101 kg per capita; while the latest report on domestic waste produced by Knowledge Expo (the new Observatory of SWG and Last Minute Market with the contribution of the National Observatory on waste: Waste Watcher) quantifies a weekly amount of 213 g of food waste per capita, for a total cost of 8.7 billion euros every year.






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  What is the waste

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