More than 70 nations pledge to reduce food waste

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 21: A box of food scraps that will be composted sits at the Norcal Waste Systems transfer station April 21, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Norcal Waste Systems is collecting food scraps from nearly 2,000 restaurants in San Francisco and thousands of single-family homes and are turning the scraps to make high quality, nutrient rich compost that gets sold back to Bay Area farmers. The garbage company has turned 105,000 tons of fodd scraps into 20,000 tons of compost. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ROME — More than 70 countries have pledged to do more to cut down on the amount of food lost due to poor refrigeration.

The countries signed the pledge Saturday at an annual meeting of the Montreal Protocol where ministers, government officials and experts work on regulating man-made chemicals used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems that are harmful to the ozone layer. The meeting took place at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome.

About one-third of the world’s food is lost or wasted and the hope is that developing better methods to keep food cold while it’s stored and transported will reduce waste.

Poor refrigeration leads to the loss of about 9% of perishable food in developed countries and about 23% in developing countries, where millions of people suffer from malnutrition.

Experts say better refrigeration would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the harmful gases used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

The United States, China, European Union members and many nations in the Americas, Africa and Asia signed the pledge.

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