The Contribution of Food Waste to Global and European Nitrogen Pollution

Aug 2, 2013 | ISWA newsletter

A new study by Bruna Grizzetti et al quantifies the impact of Food Waste on Nitrogen Pollution. With reportedly around 1/3 of the food produced globally being lost or wasted through the steps of the supply chain, the environmental and economic costs of food waste are substantial. Until this study impacts of food production and food waste have mainly been focused on climate change and energy consumption. This is a first study that looks at the impact of food waste on Nitrogen losses. Nitrogen and Phosphorus are essential nutrients for food security but at the same time have negative effects with their increasing loss to the environment, posing a threat to human and ecosystem health. Nitrogen also has climate implications, 20% of the Nitrogen emissions to the atmosphere are in the form of a powerful greenhouse gas N20. The study is available at

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