NIS 7.5 billion
How Much Food Can Be Rescued?
In terms of food rescue, the central component is unconsumed edible food (fit for consumption with nutritional value and health benefits). There are various reasons why waste occurs in each value stage of the production chain. The common denominator is the lack of economic viability for food producers (farmers, manufacturers, retailers, etc.) to invest additional resources in the next stages of production and distribution.
Reducing food waste, whether by preventing waste production or rescuing surplus, is a top global priority. The estimated amount of rescuable food is derived from a value chain model designed specifically for the food industry. Every type of wasted food at each stage of the value chain was analyzed and classified as rescuable or unsavable (unfit for consumption).
It is important to note that when food is classified as rescuable this does not consider the economic viability of rescuing the food, but refers to the safety of its consumption and the capability to use the wasted food to feed people.
The value of rescuable food is approximately NIS 7.5 billion, with wasted food increasing in value as it progresses through each stage of the value chain and more resources are invested in producing, packaging, and transporting it. The table below demonstrates that most of the wasted value is concentrated in the retail and distribution sector, as the food wasted in this sector is ready to be sold and consumed but goes to waste before it reaches the end consumer.
Value of Rescuable Food in the Food Chain
According to estimates, under economically viable conditions and given the appropriate resources, roughly 50% of food waste is rescuable and can be used to feed needy populations suffering from food insecurity. Furthermore, rescuing 50% of the food currently being wasted would save the Israeli economy approximately 200 million cubic meters of water, the production of over 600 million kWh, 38 thousand tons of fuel, and the use of significant land resources.
In the current report, household food waste is not classified as rescuable. There are various approaches to the issue of food waste in household consumption.
Western culture is based on consumerism and overabundance and it seems consumers derive benefit and joy not only from consuming food, but also from having a variety of available options, even to the point of excess.
However, because food production entails the use of natural resources, it has an environmental impact, these external costs – in an economic sense – are not reflected in the price consumers pay for food.