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How GMOs Help Us Reduce Food Waste & Its Environmental Impact

Dec 9, 2016

GMOs play a big role in improving food security by helping to reduce food waste. One example is GM potatoes that are also less prone to bruising and black spots. (Image Credit: GMO Answers)
Producing enough food to meet the needs of a growing global population, while limiting our impact on the environment is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges of our time. Reducing food loss and waste is and will continue to be a critical part of the solution.
Today, we produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet, but nearly 800 million people around the world still suffer from hunger. Why? One of the reasons, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is that one third of food produced for human consumption globally – approximately 2.9 trillion pounds per year – is lost or wasted.
Food waste also has serious environmental implications beyond just the enormous waste of water, energy, land and other resources that go into producing it. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in the United States, food is the single biggest category of waste in landfills, where it rots and produces methane, a greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. To put it in perspective, approximately 31%, or 133 billion pounds, of the U.S. food supply is wasted annually, contributing to 18% of the total methane emissions that comes from landfills.

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