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”... deriving from the Greek “diaita” meaning way of life,  the Mediterranean diet is a social practice based on the set of skills, knowledge and traditions ranging from the landscape to the table of the Mediterranean area, including the crops, harvest, fisheries, conservation, processing, preparation and, particularly, consumption of food” – 16th November 2010, Nairobi, Mediterranean Diet, intangible cultural heritage -  UNESCO


The issue of food waste is an urgent social, ethical, environmental and economic problem that requires measures to render the current food system more sustainable and to achieve food and nutritional security.

Food waste is one of the main global paradoxes. It helps to maintain the non- sustainability of the current food system and to aggravate the problem of food insecurity even in the Mediterranean countries, especially in the southern and eastern countries.

The FAO’s 2011 analysis of the world situation estimates food waste and losses at 1.3 billion tons per year. This is about a third of total food production. Other studies indicate that less than half of the caloric equivalent of the products grown for food is actually consumed directly by human beings.

The distribution of food waste and losses along the food chain varies from to region to region. In general, the losses in the first part of the food chain,  due to inadequate harvesting techniques, inefficient transport, inappropriate storage and bad weather, are higher in developing countries, where 40% of food losses occur in the post-harvest and processing phases. In industrialised countries, over 40% of losses occur during retail and final consumption, meaning that food is wasted. Food waste and losses also vary according to the products involved. FAO data shows that most food waste involves fresh products like fruit and vegetables.


We are delighted to invite you to take part of our open consultation on Mediterranean Food Waste. A research study of the CIHEAM-Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (MAIB), carried out by a team of researchers/experts from Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Department. To learn more online LINK (

Research team Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Correlated articles:

* Global food losses and food waste - FAO 2011

* Chinese authorities upgrade food waste fight - 2014

* Reducing Food Loss and Waste - WRI UNEP 2013

* Technology options for feeding 10 billion people: Options for Cutting Food Waste – European Parliament 2013

* Food Waste within Global Food Systems - Global Food Security 2013

* Turning Milestones into Quantified Objectives: Food waste - European Commission 2013

* Food waste: causes, impacts and proposals - Barilla 2012

* Global initiatives on Food Losses and Waste reduction - FAO 2012

* Survey on current research and/or activities on food losses and/or waste worldwide - Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition FAO 2012

* Preparatory Study on Food Waste across EU 27 - Bio Intelligence service 2010

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