Food loss


Do you know how much food loss there is in Japan?
If you think that only companies cause food loss, it is wrong understanding! The garbage that comes out during cooking at home may be the cause of food loss as well!

First, I would like to explain more about food loss, then describe the measures we can take to eliminate food loss.

Food Loss Problem in Japan

Do you know how much is the amount of food loss in Japan?
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the amount of food loss in FY 2008 was about 6.43 million tons, of which about 3.52 million tons was corporate food loss and 2.91 million tons was household food loss.
In fact, this amount of food loss is the same as one cup of food per person in Japan being thrown away every day! In other words, it is almost the same as the daily consumption of rice in Japan! What a surprising volume is lost!
Next, let's see the causes of food loss, dividing them into business-related food loss and home-related food loss.

The breakdown of business food loss is: leftovers, unsold items, and items damaged during transportation as shown in the above.
The breakdown of household food loss is over-removal (peeling the skin too thick), leftovers (overcooking and eating) and direct disposal (e.g., food left in the refrigerator that has expired).

Biggest food waste at home

What foods have you recently thrown away in your household? House Foods Group Inc. conducted a questionnaire survey among 6,990 people aged between 10 and 100 years old.

[Ranking of foods that have been thrown away in households]
2020 No. 1 Cucumbers No. 2 Lettuce No. 3 Cabbage No. 4 Bread No. 5 Bean sprouts 
2019 No. 1 Cucumber No. 2 Tofu No. 3 Cabbage No. 4 Lettuce No. 5 Natto 

Looking at these results, we can see that basically a lot of vegetables are thrown away. Is this an unexpected result for you?
Vegetable dishes always appear on the daily menu. Not only we throw away the unnecessary parts, but also we have a large amount of stock of vegetables in our refrigerator. It may lead to a large amount of wasted food being thrown away.

Impact of Covid-19 on food loss

This year (2020), due to the effects of the new coronavirus, various events were suddenly cancelled and food that was supposed to be served was thrown away. In addition, some supermarkets had to throw away all the food on display due to infected employees. I can't believe that the new coronavirus is even related to food loss.... What a scary corona virus is...
The following is a list of items that were thrown away due to “Stay Home” after emergency declaration.
⇒School lunch, food that has lost its freshness due to a decrease in the number of customers at hotels and restaurants, damaged food, food souvenirs from tourist spots, expensive sweets as wedding favors, food thrown away due to employee infection, etc.
In terms of the amount of food discarded, the"corporate food loss" is more affected by the Covid-19 disaster, but since people are forced to refrain from going out and eating at home more than usual, I think the "household food loss" is also increasing. In addition, I would like to tell you about my own experience when I went to a supermarket. There was a sign saying, "Please buy another bottle of milk! In order to eliminate the loss of milk, but after school reopened, there was a shortage of milk and the shelves were empty.



Consumer Affairs Agency's "Reference Materials Related to Food Loss Reduction," p. 15.

Consumer Affairs Agency website

Japan Government Relations

Yahoo! Japan news