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Food waste statistics, facts and figures

Food waste statistics, facts and figures 2022/2023

Are you looking for facts, figures and statistics on food waste in Germany and around the world? Then you've come to the right place! The World hunger is one of the biggest social problems of our time. One decisive factor: the way food is handled in Western cultures. A look at the facts shows that we are living in a rather disrespectful Disposable society The result is a society that no longer sees the value of food due to its constant availability.

In this article, I would like to provide you with all the meaningful facts, figures and statistics about discarded food. This way, you can get a clear picture for yourself and others of how massive food waste actually is in the world and especially in countries like Germany. Let's go!

Here is in advance already a small Table of contents for you:

  1. General
  2. Origin
  3. Household
  4. Retail
  5. Follow
  6. Studies
  7. Closing words

Notice: If you use any of the food waste statistics from this post, please cite the following source. Thank you for your support!

General food waste statistics

We get a good start with the most important, general facts surrounding the issue of food waste. Here are some numbers that should get everyone thinking:

  • Worldwide: Around 1.3 billion tons of the world's food ends up as waste every year.₁
  • Germany: In Germany alone, around 12 million tons of food are wasted every year.₂
  • Per capita: On average, we Germans throw around 75 kilograms of our food in the garbage can!₃
  • Private households: Around 6.7 million tons of still edible food is thrown away in German households. Figuratively speaking, that's about two fully packed shopping carts with a value of 234 euros per person.₄
  • One in eight foods: Around one in eight food items is thrown away in German households - even though nobody actually wants to waste food.₅
  • Production to consumption: In fact, around a third of all food produced worldwide is lost on its way from the field to the plate.₆

Facts & figures on the generation of food waste in Germany

A report by the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute₇ sheds light on the areas that make a particularly large contribution to the shocking figures on food waste in Germany:

  • Private households: Around 52 percent of all food waste is generated in private households.
  • Agriculture: Primary production accounts for around 12% (1.4 million tons in total).
  • Processing: In the processing of food alone, about 18 percent - and thus about 2.2 million metric tons - of food is lost.
  • Retail: Retailers generate 4 percent (0.5 million tons) of all food waste in Germany.
  • Out-of-home consumption: Around 14 percent (1.7 million tons) of food waste is attributable to to-go consumption.

The institute has also determined that around half of all food waste could actually be avoided.

Food that is frequently thrown away in private households

Which foods do we Germans throw away particularly often? A survey by the BMEL₈ has shown which foods contribute significantly to food waste in Germany:

  • Fruit and vegetables: 34 percent
  • Home Cooked: 16 percent
  • Bread & pastries: 14 percent
  • Drinks: 11 percent
  • Dairy products: 9 percent
  • Finished products: 7 percent
  • Fish and meat: 4 percent

These food waste statistics make it clear where we find a particularly high potential for improvement.

Food waste statistics from retail

Which foods often end up in the garbage can at retail outlets? A study by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture₉ answers this question precisely:

  • Total: A total of 696,480 tons of food waste was thrown away in the German food retail sector in 2015.
  • Fruit and vegetables: 328,250 tons are fruit and vegetables
  • Bread and baked goods: 206,400 tons
  • Dairy products: 60,260 tons of which are
  • Meat and sausage products: 53,310 tons of which are
  • Containers: Around 81 percent of people in Germany believe that it should be allowed to save food that is still edible from the garbage can.₁₀

Facts and figures on the consequences of food waste

All these statistics should make you think. But some of the facts also raise moral questions, as food is wasted at the expense of the planet, animals or even other people. What do I mean by that? See for yourself - here are some facts from a study by the Federal Environment Agency₁₁₁₁ and other organizations:

  • Greenhouse gases: Every year, food waste generates more than 38 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, which contribute significantly to the climate change Contribute.
  • Land consumption: Around 43,000 square kilometers of agricultural land are cultivated so that the food can then be thrown away.
  • Water consumption: Around 216 million cubic meters of water are consumed in vain. This contributes significantly to Water shortage at.
  • Animal Welfare: According to the Heinrich Böll Foundation, over four kilograms of meat and sausage are wasted per capita in Germany every year. Converted to slaughtered animals, this amounts to 230,000 cattle, 1,800,000 ducks, 2,700,000 turkeys, 4,100,000 pigs and 45,000,000 chickens that are carelessly thrown in the garbage can.₁₂

Aside from the environmental, health and ethical issues, food waste also has an impact on the economy. The direct economic impact of food waste on food producers is estimated at around 750 billion US dollars per year.₁₃

Notice: Particularly large quantities of Natural resources are wasted when animal food is thrown away! That is one of the reasons, why i live vegan.

Scientific studies on food waste

Here are three studies that were extremely helpful in my research on food waste statistics:

Take a look if you are looking for more specific facts and figures about food waste.

Use facts and figures to raise awareness of the value of food

We throw around 1.3 billion tons of food in the garbage can, while at the same time around 700 million people don't have enough to eat.₁₄ Isn't that crazy? We have to do something.

Everyone can learn to use their own Reduce food waste and thus at the same time the personal ecological footprint to improve. Oh and by the way, you can through this sustainable behavior also save money! The food waste statistics should give you the decisive motivation for a more conscious approach to food.

Do you have any questions or suggestions about the facts and figures on food waste? Then just write me a comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Do you want to do more against global famine? Then learn now how you can ensure on a daily basis that the World hunger stopped will!

Notice: If you use any of the food waste statistics from this post, please cite the following source. Thank you for your support!

₁,₂,₃,₁₄ Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.: Put an end to food waste (as of 08.04.2021), [03.05.2021].

₄,₅,₆,₁₁Umweltbundesamt: Wider die Verschwendung (as of 30.04.2020), [03.05.2021].

₇ T. Schmidt, F. Schneider, D. Leverenz, G. Hafner: Food waste in Germany, [03.05.2021].

₈,₁₀ R. Bocksch: Food waste in Germany (as at: 21.08.2020), [03.05.2021].

₉ Statista GmbH; BMEL: Food waste from food retailers in Germany in 2015 (as at: 14.09.2020), [03.05.2021].

₁₂ S. Lemmerz: Food waste - waste of life, [03.05.2021].

₁₃ Slow Food Deutschland e.V.: FAO study, [03.05.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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