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粒粒皆辛苦?我们扔掉了世界上三分之一的食物

更新时间:2017-12-13 18:46:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How Much Food Do We Waste? Probably More Than You Think
粒粒皆辛苦?我们扔掉了世界上三分之一的食物

Globally, we throw out about 1.3 billion tons of food a year, or a third of all the food that we grow.

在全球范围内,每年大约会扔掉13亿吨食物,占我们粮食种植总量的三分之一。

That’s important for at least two reasons. The less the world wastes, the easier it will be to meet the food needs of the global population in coming years. Second, cutting back on waste could go a long way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

这一点之所以重要的原因至少有两个:全球浪费越少,就越容易满足未来几年全球人口的粮食需求;第二,减少浪费对于减少温室气体的排放大有裨益。

How do we manage to waste so much?

我们怎么造成了这么多的浪费?

Food waste is a glaring measure of inequality. In poor countries, most of the food waste is on the farm or on its way to market. In South Asia, for instance, half of all the cauliflower that’s grown is lost because there’s not enough refrigeration, according to Rosa Rolle, an expert on food waste and loss at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Tomatoes get squished if they are packed into big sacks. In Southeast Asia, lettuce spoils on the way from farms to city supermarkets. Very little food in poor countries is thrown out by consumers. It’s too precious.

食物的浪费是不平等的触目评判方法。在贫穷国家,大多数的食物浪费出现在农场内,或是运往市场的途中。比如,在南亚,由于没有足够的冷藏设施,所种植的花椰菜会有一半的损失,联合国粮食及农业组织(United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization)食物浪费和损失专家就罗莎·罗尔(Rosa Rolle)说道。若用大袋子来装,西红柿就会被压坏;在东南亚,从农场运往城内超市的途中,生菜就会烂掉;在贫穷国家,消费者扔掉的食物只占极少数,它们都太宝贵了。

But in wealthy countries, especially in the United States and Canada, around 40 percent of wasted food is thrown out by consumers.

但在富裕国家,尤其是在美国和加拿大,40%的食物浪费是由于消费者的丢弃。

That number, from the F.A.O., is the result of several factors. We buy too much food. We don’t finish our plates. We spend a far smaller share of our income on food.

这个来自联合国粮农组织的数据是多种因素所致。我们购买的食物太多;我们不吃完自己盘内的食物;我们用来购买食物的开销占收入的比重要小很多。

“As you get higher and higher income, you get more and more profligacy in food waste,” Paul A. Behrens, an assistant professor of energy and environmental sciences at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

“随着你的收入越来越多,食物浪费就会越严重,”荷兰莱顿大学(Leiden University)能源与环境科学的助理教授保罗·A·贝伦斯(Paul A. Behrens)说。

The United States as a whole wastes more than $160 billion in food a year.

美国全国一年浪费的食物超过1600亿美元。

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, which tracks food loss, dairy products account for the largest share of food wasted, about $91 billion.

根据美国农业部(Department of Agriculture)追踪的食物损失,在被浪费的食物中,奶制品的比例最大,大约浪费了910亿美元。

“In the developed world, food is more abundant but it costs much less,” Ms. Rolle said. “In a sense people don’t value food for what it represents.”

“发达国家的食物更丰富,却便宜得多,”罗尔说。“从某种程度上来说,人们认为食物不值得珍惜。”

Food waste and loss has a huge carbon footprint: 3.3 billion tons of carbon equivalent.

食物浪费和损失会带来巨大的碳排放量:33亿吨碳当量。

And that’s not all, according to a 2014 report from the F.A.O. Wasting that much means a lot of water is wasted, too — the equivalent of three times the size of Lake Geneva, as the report puts it.

根据粮农组织2014年的报告来看,这还不是全部。如此多的浪费也意味着有大量的水被浪费——如报告所说,相当于三个日内瓦湖的水量。

“Food waste — it’s kind of the tip of the iceberg,” said Jason Clay, a senior vice president in charge of food policy at the World Wildlife Foundation, a Washington-based advocacy group. “It’s the most obvious place to start.”

 “食物浪费——就像是冰山一角,”世界自然基金会(World Wildlife Foundation)负责粮食政策的高级副总裁贾森·克莱(Jason Clay)说道,该倡议组织总部位于华盛顿。“它是最显而易见的出发点。”

Ms. Rolle of the Food and Agriculture Organization said some of the most basic fixes are at the bottom end of the supply chain: Metal grain silos have helped against fungus ruining grain stocks in countries in Africa. In India, the F.A.O. is encouraging farmers to collect tomatoes in plastic crates instead of big sacks; they squish and rot less.

粮农组织的罗尔表示,一些最基础的解决办法在供应链的底层:在非洲国家,金属粮仓可以防止库存的谷物发霉;在印度,粮农组织鼓励农民使用塑料箱而非大袋子来装西红柿,以减少挤压和腐烂。

Higher up the food chain, supermarkets are trying to make a dent by changing the way best-before labels are used — making them specific to various food categories to discourage consumers from throwing out food that is safe to eat — or trying to sell misshapen fruits and vegetables rather than discarding them.

再往上的食物链中,超市通过改变“赏味期限”标签的使用方式取得一些进展——根据不同的食物分类给出不同的保质期标签,使消费者减少扔掉仍可安全食用的食物——或者设法出售而非扔掉外形不好看的水果和蔬菜。

Some countries are trying to regulate food waste. France requires retailers to donate food that is at risk of being thrown out but is still safe to eat. European Union lawmakers are pushing for binding targets to curb food waste by 50 percent by 2030, echoing a United Nations development goal; negotiations have been underway since June. Some countries pushing back on the idea of continentwide targets.

一些国家正在尝试控制食物浪费。法国要求零售商捐出可能会被扔掉,但仍然可以安全食用的食物。欧盟的议员们正在推进一项有约束力的目标,要求在2030年将食物浪费减少50%,呼应联合国的发展目标。从6月起便开始了有关谈判。也有一些国家反对在欧洲大陆设定统一目标。

What if we just ate less?

如果我们单纯地少吃点呢?

That would make a difference, but not as much as one might think. Dr. Behrens of Leiden University addressed the issue in a recent study:

这会有影响,但并没有人们以为的那么大。荷兰莱顿大学(Leiden University)的贝伦斯博士(Dr. Behrens)在最近的一项研究中论证了这个问题:

Cutting waste would have “at least the same impact or more than changing diets.”

减少浪费会与“改变饮食习惯产生至少产生相同的,抑或更大的影响”。

If Americans ate according to our nationally recommended dietary guidelines (each country’s are somewhat different) that would go some distance toward cutting our emissions footprint. Changing eating habits is tough, though. Experts say food waste is still critical.

如果美国人都能根据国家推荐的膳食指南进食(每个国家都有所不同),将有助于减少碳排放,尽管改变饮食习惯会很困难。专家表示,食物浪费才是关键所在。

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