How the mediterranean diet can contribute to food loss and waste reduction

Permanent representation of Italy to the international organizations in Rome, with the support of the Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (Fao), in collaboration with Permanent representation of the people’s Republic of China to the UN Agencies for food and agriculture; Fico foundation; Zero waste campaign – Last Minute Market; Alma mater studiorum – University of Bologna

Goal1 Goal2 Goal12 Internazionali

Mercoledì 23 Settembre 2020 h. 15:00-17:00


This online event is part of the initiative “Mediterranean diet’s principles for Agenda 2030”, a series of thematic sessions promoted by the Italian Permanent representation that aim to raise awareness on how the Mediterranean diet can help achieve the Sustainable development goals.

A sustainable diet should guarantee food security, promote healthy lifestyles, avoid food loss and waste, contribute to the reduction of environmental impacts and to the improvement of the well-being for current and future generations. In order to achieve these objectives it is necessary to transform current diets that have become a major risk factor for disease and death.

Diets, in many parts of the world, have undergone drastic changes in their composition resulting in increase in their energy content, fats, saturated fats, salt and sugars with an associated increase in the prevalence of diet-related diseases. The latest estimates indicate that globally 2 billion adults are overweight or obese and 41 million children are overweight (Sofa, 2019). In 2017, there were over 4.5 million deaths due to obesity-related causes. While the causes of obesity and overweight are complex, one of their main causes is linked to the excessive consumption of energy-dense foods coupled with reduced physical activity and sedentary lifestyles.

Current food systems not generate problems only for human health but also for the environment in which food is produced. Agriculture is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions and for 70% of the exploitation and waste of natural resources: water, land and energy and a major contributor to biodiversity loss and in the destruction of soil and forests.

Reducing food loss and waste contributes to enhancing the sustainability of food systems. Food loss and waste reduction can bring benefit to society as a whole by improving food security and nutrition, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pressures on land and water resources, while increasing productivity and economic growth.  It is important to note that often the most nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, by virtue of their high degree of perishability are the most susceptible to high levels of losses of and waste. The mediterranean diet series this month lends a hand to the upcoming first International day of awareness of food loss and waste (Idaflw), be observed on 29 September 2020 in drawing attention to the issues of food loss and waste. Achieving a sustainable food production system and reducing food waste are crucial in tackling the growing demand for nutritious foods needed for healthy diets for everyone. “Stop Food loss and waste for the people and for the planet”.