What is food loss and waste?

In general, food loss and waste (FLW) refers to food that is not eaten by people, for whatever reason. Some definitions and estimates also include inedible parts, such as bones, rinds and pits. FLW can occur at every stage of the food-supply chain, including:

On the farm when crops are left unharvested because of lack of demand or labor shortages

At processing when labeling or other branding errors prohibit sale or donation of the product

During distribution when cans are dented or frozen product is inadvertently thawed

At grocery stores when misshapen fruit is pulled from display cases or rejected by consumers

At restaurants when the food served is uneaten and thrown away

In households when wholesome food is thrown away because it is near or past its “best if used” date