In France, food waste waits to be converted into methane and biogas: photo copyright FAO website
On 11 September, 2013 in Rome, a new FAO report revealed that the waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tons of food per year is not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself. “Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources” is the first study to analyze the impacts of global food wastage from an environmental perspective, looking specifically at its consequences for the climate, water and land use, and biodiversity. Each year, food that is produced but not eaten guzzles up a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River and is responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere, were the key findings of the report . The report estimates that annually the direct economic consequences to producers of food wastage (excluding fish and seafood) run to the tune of $750 billion beyond its environmental impacts. Along the new study, FAO has also published a comprehensive "tool-kit" that contains recommendations on how food loss and waste can be reduced at every stage of the food chain. The tool-kit profiles a number of projects around the world that show how national and local governments, farmers, businesses, and individual consumers can take steps to tackle the problem. UNEP (UN Environment Programme) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) are founding partners of the Think Eat Save - Reduce Your Foodprint campaign that was launched earlier in the year and whose aim was to assist in coordinating worldwide efforts to manage down wastage.