Potato Breeding Innovations Could Be Key to Reducing Food Waste
Plant breeding innovations such as new varieties of potatoes and mushrooms that don’t bruise and turn brown could go a long way in significantly reducing food waste, according to an American Seed Trade Association representative who was cited by a Kearney Hub report.
According to the information, the new potato alone could eliminate 1.5bn pounds of wasted potatoes each year. Some 20% to 25% of crop yields in the U.S. are lost to pests, disease, and post-harvest losses. The number reportedly is as high as 50% in the developing world. GMOs and other plant breeding innovations are key to reducing those losses and increasing the world’s food supply, says the American Seed Trade Association.
The recommendation can be placed in a global context, given that the carbon footprint of wasted foodstuffs exceeds 3bn tons worldwide annually, creating about 7% of greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S. alone, 133bn pounds of food are wasted annually, contributing to 18% of total U.S. landfill methane (greenhouse gas) emissions.