With regard to the celebration of the first World Refrigeration Day on the past 26 in June, several entities reflected on a global problem that keeps almost one billion human beings in a state of hunger. It is about the waste of food, one of whose causes is the absence or misuse of the cold chain in the management of these products.
According to figures provided by the FAO, about 1.300 millions of tons of food are thrown away on our planet, while the 50% of the population is undernourished. It is a reality of which Peru does not escape, since it presents 4 millions of people in poverty condition (according to UN statistics of 2018) and reaches the 2.5 million that suffer from hunger (FAO, 2016). This contrasts with the figures that reveal that in our country the food waste reaches 9 million tons, which could feed 2 millions of Peruvians.
Experts from the refrigeration industry have talked about this date about the social impact of this fact since the refrigeration factor is critical in the conservation of food, especially fresh ones. Thus, in Peru, between 8.3% and 12% of the potatoes that are produced are lost. In addition, it is estimated that the 30% of cereals is not used worldwide; from 40% to 50% of roots, fruits and oilseeds; the 20% of meats and dairy products; and the 35% of the fish.
Eve Crowley, an FAO official, recommended that consumers only buy the amount of food they plan to prepare at fairs or supermarkets. "Organize your refrigerator to put the things that one has to eat first, higher and in a more visible place," he said. He added that Europe, the United States, Japan, China and Australia waste food, especially during distribution and in the last link of the chain, the consumer. While in lower income countries the loss of food occurs in all the links of the food chain.
In what ways is the food wasted?
There are several ways in which food is wasted, but among the most common reasons are the elimination of fresh products from the supply chain because they do not meet the standards of size, color, taste, among others; the discarding of food retailers and consumers close to the date of preferential consumption or who have exceeded it; and large quantities of healthy edible foods that are not used, are left and discarded from domestic kitchens and food establishments.
In our country, the Peruvian School of Refrigeration highlights that the World Day of Refrigeration helps to raise awareness in the international community about the role of this industry in supporting modern life and social development. They emphasize that the application and improvement of the cold chain can help to avoid waste and feed millions of Peruvians to 2.
Business and professional associations from the United States, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and all of Europe formally support this celebration.