Dumping food products as waste
In 1998, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture estimated that around 14 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in Brazil. In financial terms this is around US$ 4 billion per annum in fruit, greens, vegetables and other perishable food. Specifically 10-15% of oranges are wasted; 30% of vegetables and peppers; 30% of grains; 21% of rice; 25% of chicken; 15.8% of tubers and 75% of milk. Another 20% of corn, soy beans and other beans is spoilt due to errors in the operation of agricultural machinery; the grains rot in warehouses due to excessive humidity and because they are stored in sacks and other unsuitable packaging. Contributing to food wastage are: householders throw out 20% of certain foods, such as skins and leaves with high nutritional value; restaurant customers leave 20% of the food they order; badly-planned packaging accounts for 30% of road transport insurance claims for damaged food; the retail trade buys more food than needed, taking into account losses in stocking and exhibition of produce. In the case of bananas, the retailer offers 1.66 kg for each kilo sold which, added to the 20% lost in production accounts for a wastage of almost 60%; the same happens with avocados, tomatoes and papayas, with an estimated wastage of 40% in the total amount of fruit produced in Brazil.