Please note that the paperback omits the plate section that was originally included in the hardback, even though the list referring to them still appears after the table of contents.
The world has a 'food problem' – rapidly rising prices, shortages, 100 million people starving, environmental depredation – or it thinks it does. Waste shows that farmers, manufacturers, supermarkets and consumers in North America and Europe discard between 30 and 50 per cent of their fresh produce – enough to feed the starving in the world six times over. Additionally, while affluent nations throw away food through neglect, up to 40 per cent of some crops in the developing world are wasted because farmers lack the basic infrastructure to process and store them before they rot.
Waste is both a personal journey over the world's food waste mountain and an objective investigation of this environmental and social problem. During his travels from Yorkshire to western China, Pakistan to Japan, Tristram Stuart encounters grotesque examples of profligacy, but also inspiring and innovative solutions. Terrible though it may seem, the global food waste problem is also a great opportunity – tackling it is easy. Unlike giving up air travel for the sake of the planet, avoiding food waste can be achieved without much sacrifice.
Tristram Stuart has been a freelance writer for Indian newspapers, a project manager in Kosovo and a prominent critic of the food industry. He has made regular contributions to television documentaries, radio and newspaper debates on the social and environmental aspects of food. His first book, The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India, was published in 2006 to great critical acclaim.
"This is one of those books that everybody should read [...] It may well change your view of the way we treat food forever."
– Paul Kingsnorth
"Deftly illuminates the global consequences of our choices about what to eat."
– Tom Standage
"Passionate, closely argued and guaranteed to make the most manic consumer peer guiltily into the recesses of their fridge."
– John Preston
"Every day all around the globe, appallingly enormous amounts of otherwise edible food go to waste even while humans are starving. Stuart aims to educate people about where such waste occurs, how much of it there is, and what possible steps can be undertaken to reduce it substantially if not eliminate it altogether [...] Notes and a huge bibliography lead readers to additional resources on this pressing environmental issue."
– Mark Knoblauch
"This is a first class book, as copiously referenced as any academic report, yet both blunt and incisive – the sort of book one can expect only from someone who gets his hands mucky as well as inky."
– Simon Fairlie
"Jaw-dropping [...] compelling – a must-read [...] Stuart has an unanswerable case."
– Bee Wilson