Food Waste, The ‘Great Pending Account’ Of Spain

“You don’t get up from the table until you finish everything, because nothing is thrown away in this house.” This phrase, which makes many return to their childhood, is not as true as we were led to believe. Food waste in Spain is back on the agenda this Monday, with the approval by the Council of Ministers of the bill for the prevention of food losses and waste , to try to combat the worrying figures .

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food , only in 2020 1,363 million kilos of food were wasted, which means that each Spaniard throws 31 kilos of food into the garbage per year, of which 1,038 million were unused products and 324 millions of ready-made foods ,

If we compare the figures with those of 2019, when 1,352 million kilos of food were thrown away and eight out of ten Spanish households threw away products as they bought them , it can be seen that for another year waste increases, which shows that the Spaniards still do not manage the purchase and use of food well.

Food waste.
The Government wants to promote the sale of “ugly” foods but optimal for consumption to avoid waste
For all these reasons, the Council of Ministers approved this Monday a bill to prevent food losses and waste , which includes obligations for all links in the chain, from primary production to consumption.

What foods are wasted the most?
Up to 650 million kilos of food were wasted between spring and summer of 2020 in Spain, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 8,000 questionnaires a year to 12,000 households and analysis of purchases for the home .

The type of food that was wasted the most in Spain in 2020 was Fruit , with 333 million thrown away. It is followed by vegetables , whose waste was 141.2 million and fresh bread , with about 50 million kilos.

Other foods that Spaniards waste in large quantities in all the seasons analyzed by the Ministry of Agriculture are liquid milk , dairy products , Soups , creams , broths , sausages and meats .

On the other hand, food waste only increased from 2019 to 2020 in pasta (17.3% more), cubes and seasonings (17.27%), nuts (1.03%) and chocolate and nougat (0, 2. 3%). The greatest reductions were in coffees and infusions (-37.98%), honey (-31.91%) and oil (-30.47%).

Young people vs adults: who wastes more?
The age group between 50 and 64 years is where the highest percentage of food products wasted each season is concentrated, followed by the group between 35 and 49 years old. Then come those over 65 and lastly, the band of people who waste the least food are those under 35 years of age .

In addition, data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food also offers data on the type of household, where independent young people are the ones who waste the least food .

Finally, within the socioeconomic profile, the middle classes are those that concentrate the highest percentage of food waste in Spain.

According to the Ministry, during 2020 there was a better use of food and beverages by households that waste (75.3% vs 79.1%) but not in the volume of waste generated, which increased by 0.8 %.

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