Half the Food Produced Globally Is – Wasted?

One year ago, a report was released by the United Nations Environment Program that over half of the food produced globally is lost, wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human-managed food chain. This is a staggering fact that is substantiated by data from countries all around the world. It seems the food crisis that we are currently facing, blamed largely on decreasing yields due to climate change, depleted soil, lack of adequate water, and so on, is more a crisis of management than production. In fact, there is strong evidence, according to UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, that the world could feed it’s entire population, right now, by simply becoming more efficient and reducing the horrific waste that is endemic to the food production industry.

Some figures:

• Up to 25% of all fresh fruits and vegetables in the US is lost between field and table.
• In Australia, food waste makes up half of that country’s landfill.
• In the United Kingdom 30% of all food purchased every year is not eaten.
• Losses in the field between planting and harvesting are around 40% of the potential harvest in developing countries due to pests and pathogens.
• In Africa, 30% of landed fish is lost through discards and spoilage.
• Approximately 30 million metric tons of fish are discarded at sea every year.
• India looses up to 50% of it’s fresh food because of inadequate storage and distribution.
• In South East Asia 37% of rice is lost between field and table. In China, the figure is up to 45%, in Vietnam, it’s estimated to be 80%!

Another factor that accentuates the waste factor in America and Great Britain is the draconian penalties on food suppliers for failing to deliver agreed upon quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. To avoid these crippling penalties, farmers are required to produce a much larger crop than can actually be sold or processed as a form of insurance against poor weather or other factors that might reduce their yield. In some instances, up to 30% of a crop is left to rot. Another 30% of that crop never reaches the supermarket because it is ‘sub standard’ or substantially trimmed for packaging purposes. Of the final produce that reaches our supermarkets, up to 50% is then thrown away.

While it is impossible to calculate the wastage of food from restaurants and all other places where food is served, the final figures of how much food is consumed, compared to how much is produced, must be an astonishingly small percentage. This system of putting incredible pressure on our food producers only so that at least half of what is produced can be thrown away, is clearly unsustainable.

This same study indicates that up to 25% of the world’s current food production capacity may be lost due to “environmental breakdowns” by 2050. Already, cereal yields have stagnated worldwide and fish landings are steadily declining. As the world’s population presses towards 9.5 billion by the year 2050 the demand on the world’s limited resources will reach a breaking point. We cannot ‘produce’ our way out of the next crisis, we must ‘conserve’ our way out.

What can you do?

1. Plan more carefully the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that your family will consume on a weekly basis and limit your purchases to that amount.
2. When food is on the verge of going bad, cook it and freeze it. This works well with excess veggies that can be made into a soup and frozen, or apples which can be made into applesauce and kept longer.

3. Encourage your family to take smaller portions and go back for more if still hungry rather than filling your plate and throwing half away.
4. Learn to be creative with leftovers. Most meals can be recycled easily the next day into another meal or added to a soup or packed for lunches.
5. Feed your pet table scraps. In most cases, your animal will be healthier and that last piece of something that is too small to save will not be wasted.
6. If you shop at a store with large packs of produce or meat, consider shopping with a friend so you can divide the packages and not have excess food in your frige.
7. At restaurants, bring a Tupperware to take home leftovers or opt to share a meal if the servings are particularly large, or simply eat an appetizer and soup or desert.
8. If you find you’ve made more than your family can eat of something, bring the leftovers in to your office to share. Maybe have a potluck Thursday when leftovers can be pooled for a fun meal.
9. Shop at your local farmers market to help small scale farmers and get your produce days after harvest instead of weeks at the supermarket.

Preparing for Your Food Product Development Consultation

Whether you’re scaling an established product line or creating something entirely new from scratch, your food product development consultation will set the tone for the rest of the collaboration. It pays to be prepared – this guide will help you gather the materials and information that your development company will surely request.

Understanding Food Product Development

If this is your first time working with a product development firm, it helps to familiarize yourself with the services typically offered. Some firms keep things relatively basic – going no further than typical consulting – and others will have full scale laboratories that can analyze your product from top to bottom completely in-house.

Full service firms even have marketing experts on staff to direct everything from market research to launch, and development companies often have close connections with graphic designers and packaging agencies as well. Scour every development company website you can find so that you’ll know what the development company can likely handle and what you’ll have to take to a third-party resource.

What You Will Need

A strong description of your goals, current capabilities, and long-term projections are necessary. Your product development firm needs to know which resources you have at your disposal and how you plan to scale your product in the future.

Goals are important, but your recipe will take center stage. Your recipe should detail a list of ingredients by weight, the quality standards you use to choose ingredients, whether your ingredients are wet or dry, and the brands or formulations that you prefer. A detailed explanation of your current production process is also important: how long you marinade certain ingredients, whether you stir gently or vigorously, cooking and cooling times, etc.

The food product development company will also want a sample of your recipe as you make it.

Other non-recipe related requirements will include a workable budget and projections for scaling needs. You will also need to have a good idea of how you will approach production now and in the future – whether you use a co-packer, shared kitchen, or your own commercial prep space. These will all affect the way the development firm will approach your new commercially-viable product.

Before talking to any development firm, you’ll want to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The firm itself often provides this agreement – a firm that starts asking questions without an agreement should raise red flags. Stories of stolen recipes are rare, but surprisingly there is a market for such things.

Don’t worry about having every single piece of information documented and filed. The entire job of a food development company is to make the process easier for you, whether you are a brand new startup or an experienced culinary genius. Just get out there, keep an open mind, and let your initial consultation serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for the lengthy development process.

Tips for Introducing a New Food Product

In the fast-paced world, change is an inevitable thing. Without adapting to change it is not possible for you to keep on advancing in the present time. A thing that appears to be perfect today may not be perfect tomorrow. Various aspects of life, starting from technology to food, need to change to keep pace with the changing times. The providers, manufacturers as well as designers often are unable to cater to the requirements of the customers. Even if the food is of high quality, the food manufacturer has to customize it on the basis of need and preference of a customer. Before you introduce a food product in the industry, it is vital to remember a few aspects that you must follow to become successful manufacturer.

Appropriate food product

Multiple products are launched in the industry regularly. Your goal is to ensure that the food item you develop should be innovative as well as new that would meet the needs of the clients.

Conduct research

The next step is to do a bit of research to acquire necessary details regarding the relevant laws associated with food jobs. It is important that the food product you launch in the industry must pass the necessary standards and guidelines.

Gather necessary information

It is vital to conduct a comprehensive research or survey of the relevant market. You should acquire comprehensive details regarding different aspects associated with effective marketing of the product, starting from the packaging of the products to designing the departmental shop where you would sell products to the potential clients. You should gather necessary information about the targeted clients as well as their tastes in order to promote the products effectively.

Develop a long list of marketing techniques

You should create a long list of the important aspects including proprietary tools, services and other important materials required to develop new food item and promote it to the clients. Considering these features help in understanding the prices required for the whole procedure and the different ways you can curtail the price while retaining the standard of the food product.

Experienced manufacturers identify the importance of launching new food products and making the necessary food products for the customers. They continuously strive to gather knowledge about the changing needs as well as the preferences of the clients so that they can update the food products accordingly. Just like other things, food habits change in the current times. The popularity of junk foods as well as ready-made foods has brought massive change in the food habit of the people in the present times. Tremendous pressure at the work place and shortage of time compel people to eat foods and avoid healthy or nutritious items. Such rapid changes in the lifestyle of people call for the introduction of the new kinds of foods that can cater to the requirements as well as the needs of the clients efficiently.

Low Levels of Testosterone Comes From Corporate Food Production

After watching the Food Inc film recently, I was one the one hand horrified by what I saw as the truth about the way big corporate businesses process our foods, the way they mistreat the animals we eat and the people they use as growers and worst of all the poisons they put into our foods often without telling us first. On the other hand I already knew most of the horror story and not just because of the way the tobacco companies managed to get away denying for decades harm they were doing to us with their cancer sticks. The reality is that big business dominates government policy and that only when consumers choose to buy organic foods will these big businesses try to respond with clean and safe foods for us.

Of all the reasons why men today have 60% less testosterone than the average of men in the 1930s it is the poisons and chemicals used in the food production processes by the big corporates that feed us that does the damage. Just as the tobacco industry executives almost certainly never smoke cigarettes, I am willing to bet that the large multi-national food processing corporation executives buy organic wherever possible simply because they know how badly their food additives damage our bodies.

We are what we eat, and the big corporations manipulate us with marketing imagery to fool us into believing their product is safe and healthy when in fact it is the very chemicals and hormones they put into our foods that have caused the morbid obesity in our society, the diabetes and heart problems that all have flowed on from our much lower than healthy testosterone levels. Make no mistake – they are killing us with the tainted products they market to us, and only the wise people who buy organic, exercise regularly and who boost their deficient diets with diet supplements and vitamins can hope to overcome the negative effects.