The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) believes one-third of all food produced, worth around 1 trillion dollars, is lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. The program is aimed primarily at consumers, food retailers and the hotel and restaurant industry, and is based on three recommended actions, think, eat, and save. Consumers in Europe, North America and Oceania waste between 95 to 115 kilos of food per capita per year, while the figure for people living in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia is only 6-11 kilos, FAO and UNEP said.
Commenting for this story is now closed.If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page! It's the subject of a major food conference this week in London, called No Opportunity Wasted, which aims to reduce food waste from "field to fork".
Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s changed its labelling advice that foods must be frozen on the day of purchase. Tesco has also trialled new packaging designed to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for longer, with M&S already using it for its strawberries. The likes of Pret A Manger, Sainsbury's and Waitrose have also made firm commitments to distributing surplus food to local charities. And the confusing 'display until' and 'sell by' dates on packaging, designed to help shop staff with stock reduction, are gradually being phased out, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap).

While retailers are making changes, the majority of food waste comes from us and our behaviour needs to change too. Simple steps such as planning out a week's meals in advance can save waste, and save money too. The Wrap consumer site Love Food Hate Waste has some great tips, such as keeping apples in the fridge so they last a bit longer. Rachel Green’s kedgeree is a dish that can take leftover fish, rice from the cupboard and a few frozen peas to produce a tasty supper. Before you dish out another big portion, ask yourself if you really will finish what’s on your plate.
Rather than scraping your leftovers into the garbage or if you don’t feel like eating them before they go to waste, put them in the freezer!  This makes for a great way to reduce waste and creates an easy meal for a busy night. Whether it’s soft spots in apples, bruises on bananas or dark spots on potatoes, all produce will develop imperfections. Some food waste is unavoidable, so why not set up a compost bin for fruit and vegetable pieces and peelings?
There’s also the energy costs used in storing it, and costs incurred by your local authority in removing it, which you pay for in council tax.

Recommendations from the conference will be presented to the European Union, which has earmarked 2014 as a year of food waste action. Instead packaging now advises us to freeze items as soon as possible up to the product's 'use by' date.
There must surely come a tipping point when we start to think, "Hang on, that cost me an hour’s wages" and start to plan our meals a bit better. Recent studies show that the environmental movement is catching on and more and more people are living an eco-conscious lifestyle. By continuously learning what changes we can all make we are on the path to preserving the earth, and these simple tips can be implemented today- without spending a dime! However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated.

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