This chapter discusses how and where in the food chain food is lost and wasted, how this impacts food security, and potential solutions for reducing loss and waste. Food loss and waste refers to the decrease of food in the value chain intended for human consumption from production to consumption stages, and food loss represents a waste not just of food but of the resources used to produce that food. One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, or 1.3 billion tons per year. In low- and middle-income countries, this loss mostly occurs in the front part of the value chain, while in high-income countries, this occurs in the consumption phase. Aflatoxin is in a family of mycotoxins that can really have profound losses in food; it can be found in soils, but can contaminate food during harvest and storage, and can affect up to 25% of food. Cold chain storage and transport can fix this issue. Packaging is important in minimizing losses of food. Expiration dates are another huge issue; people worry about consuming food past the expiration date for fear of food borne illness, but end up just wasting more food. Ugly food is also wasted at the store because its not pretty. People should shop meal to meal, and compost.
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