Comments: Do we waste too much food?

  • 10 January 2013
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Joe reports on the shocking amounts of food wasted each year

As much as half of the world's food ends up being thrown away, according to a new report.

The study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers claims up to two billion tonnes of food is being wasted every year because of over-strict sell-by dates, supermarket offers and fussy consumers.

The report also claims that up to a third of vegetables in the UK did not get sold because of the way they look.

Around the world, food is also going to waste because of poor farming conditions and poor storage, according to the study.

How much food do you see being wasted?

Does it happen at school or at home? How much food ends up in the bin and how often? What kind of food gets thrown away? And what should be done to stop it happening?

This chat page is now closed. Thanks to all of you who got in touch.

Your comments

"I eat all my food, but at school there is at least two tubs full of waste"

Bradley, Chesterfield, England

"My school waste's so much food I think all the food wasted could feed everyone in Africa. I think food that you do not want could be taken to another country and given to people there."

Jemma, Sudbury, England

"I think we should only buy the food we need, not any extra food that will be thrown away."

Muhammad, Manchester, England

"In our house we try really hard not to waste any food, but my dad eats anything past it's sell by date because he doesn't want to waste anything"

Molly, Exeter, England

"I think a lot of food has been wasted in my house because the sell-by-date has gone which leaves us no option but to throw the food"

Sarah, London, England

"I try not to waste much food, but I see a lot of people wasting it! I think fussy people waste the most food though!"

Annabel, Hampshire, England

"I think it's OK to waste food if you're not hungry."

Caola, Belfast, Ireland

"I totally agree people in Africa should get that food instead of it going to waste."

Joshua, Belfast, Ireland

"In our house if we do not finish our breakfast, lunch or dinner it just ends up in the bin. I think its a a terrible waste of food."

Claire, Ireland, Belfast

"We could try and eat all our lunch or everything on the plate so it doesn't get wasted"

Primary 3/4 St Joseph's, Whitburn, Scotland

"Our family isn't wasteful. Just the sheer thought of throwing food in a bin makes my mother angry. She makes us finish everything, including the sprouts!"

Shrey, Reading, England

"My family doesn't waste that much food at all and we only bin stuff when it goes out of date."

Aliya, Milton Keynes, England

"In our house we don't waste a lot of food but the food we do throw out is often vegetables, fruits and foods that generally run out of date quickly."

Kelly, London, England

"I see a little food being wasted at home but at school the whole bin is filled with food. I think we can stop this by choosing how much food we want at the start instead of wasting it. If the food we waste is something like fruit we can put it in the fridge and eat it another time."

Sam, Hounslow, England

"I don't think its right to waste food but it's ok when the food is past its sell-by date."

Lucy, Leamington, England

"All I waste is bread crusts, hard things like chicken bones and things like dry crisps."

Annabelle, Dumfries, Scotland

"In our school it happens a lot, kids are just wasting perfectly good food, but it is getting better!"

Charlotte, Aylesbury, England

"At school we have two big bins and by the end of lunch there is so much waste in them. I hate looking in them.

Richard, Hitchin, England

"Some people at our school have hot dinners, and I think its very wasteful when they just eat a little bit and throw the rest away when they can eat more. There are children in other countries who are not as lucky as us and do not have so much to eat, it's sad."

Georgia, Rushden, England

"I do because if it is out of date I don't eat it."

Harriet, Haywards Heath, England

"At my school we have an eco team and they do a lot about waste, so we have hardly any waste."

Imogen, England

"My school throw away at least half the food, but at home we feed it to our dog Bobbie."

Holly, Wimbledon, England

"I have seen loads of food being wasted in school like whole slice of pizza in the bin, because of the way it looked."

Ashleigh, Caernarfon, Wales

"At school each day the bins are full of pizza and sweetcorn. I think we waste a ridiculous amount of food each day, we should definitely put a stop to it."

Shifra, Sutton, England

"In school I think peas and carrots get thrown away quite often, people don't like them even though they are healthy for you. I also see bananas which are bit black get thrown away."

Isha, England

"At school a lot of food is being wasted. There's around 100 things in the bin. Yesterday I saw a boy throwing his whole meal away!

Cheyenne, Kent, England

"I think that we should make the sell-by dates longer because then we get a lot of time to eat the food!"

Luke, Blackheath, England

"We think it is a bigger issue at school because there are more people to make more waste. There is also not enough time to eat so a lot gets thrown away. A lot of food that passes its expiry date goes in the bin. A lot of fresh fruit and vegetables get thrown away because it is sold in large packets that don't always get eaten. Plan for meals is a useful way of reducing waste."

Hampstead School, London, England

"I think teachers at school should not be so soft on people and let them bin their food but send them back to their table to eat their veg. At home we should teach ourselves to eat more on our plate or just put less on our plate and eat that, and if your still hungry you can get some more when you've finished the first lot."

Olivia, Newbury, England

"This is very important and more people should consider how much and often this is increasing. It is bad for the world and the food we take for granted should go to people in places like Africa where they need it."

Alycia, Leicester, England