team HASAT is creating our team calendar! the green post-its are our homework for the next week.
In india, annually, over 40 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables, a figure worth approximately $8.3 billion, perishes before reaching consumer. Meanwhile, food insecurity is still prevalent in India and the average household spends nearly 30% of their monthly income in food. In the United States, postharvest waste also poses great socioeconomic challenges presently, and especially for the future of food security. While 40 percent of the food available annually goes to waste, nearly 49 million Americans face food insecurity.
Postharvest activities refers to the various points in the value chain from production in the field to processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption. Losses of fresh produce are a major problem in the postharvest chain and yet, it remains largely an invisible problem! Food is wasted at farms when produce is not harvested due to market dynamics, or because it cannot withstand the average 1,500 miles journey from farm to supermarket, and once at store, tons of food may go to waste because its appearance does not satisfy a customer’s expectations (largely influenced by advertising), even if perfectly edible. Other resources are squandered when food goes wasted: a significant amount of landmass, energy consumption and fresh water goes into producing food every year. And because refuse is turned into decaying trash in landfills, food waste produces a significant amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.