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Food Waste and Food Loss, What's The Difference?

When we talk about waste issues in Indonesia, we often talk about food waste. People start to raise their concerns about food waste, but what is actually the definition of this term? Generally, any wasted food is called as food wastage. Food wastage is divided into two types namely food loss and food waste. FAO (Food and Agriculture Association) stated on The State of Food Agriculture 2019 defines food loss as the decrease in the quantity and quality of food caused by food suppliers in the chain, excluding retailers, food service providers, and consumers. Food waste, however, is defined as the decrease in the quantity and quality of food caused by retailers, food service providers, and consumers. 

The decrease in the quantity explained in food loss and food waste indicates the loss of food physically, while the decrease in quality explained in food loss and food waste indicates the decrease in the value of food such as the decrease of the nutrients. For instance, the amount of vitamin C in dented fruit can be decreased.

Not all food can be prevented from food wastage. STREFOWA on Food Waste Guideline for Waste Management stated that some parts of the food are inevitable to food wastage such as food scraps. On the other hand, leftover consumption, partially consumed food, and uneaten food are part of food wastage that we can avoid. So, let’s clean our plate to prevent it from food wastage. 

Written by: Tsamara Luthfia

 Reference: 

FAO. (2019). The State of Food and Agriculture 2019 – Moving forward on food loss and waste reduction. Rome: FAO.

STREFOWA. (2019). Food Waste Guideline for Waste Management. STREFOWA.

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