(P26-017-20) Evidence for Designing Public Policies Aimed at Reducing Food Waste and Food Insecurity in Mexico
Objectives: To analyze the magnitude and distribution of food waste and insecurity in Mexico as a first step in designing public policies to counteract these problems.
Methods: Based on methodology proposed by Subirats et al. (2008), we analyzed the magnitude and distribution of food waste and insecurity in Mexico. Using scientific evidence and official data, we responded to the following guiding questions: What is the problem? What is the magnitude of the problem? Who are the population groups most affected by the problem and where do they reside? To what extent does coverage under current public policies address these problems?
Results: Problem: By 2050, the Mexican population will have grown by 22.9 million with respect to 2015. The country’s capacity to produce the amount of food required in the future will depend largely on what proportion of the population has the necessary financial resources to acquire the food it needs, and whether food is equitably distributed. Magnitude of the problem: Mexico loses and wastes approximately 34% of the national production of items in the basic food basket while 26.4 million Mexicans lack sufficient income to acquire the quantity and quality of food they need. Those affected the most: From an environmental viewpoint, the larger cities in Mexico constitute the principal production centers of food waste, among other residues. This causes air, land and water pollution at the regional level, as well as serious health problems in the population. From an ethical and nutritional perspective, food waste indirectly affects those experiencing food insecurity. Location of the affected population: In 2012, central Mexico was the largest generator of urban solid waste including organic and, specifically, food residues. Conversely, southern Mexico was the region most affected by food insecurity. Public policy coverage: Despite the magnitude of the problem, several Mexican states have no public policy in place to combat food waste or insecurity.
Conclusions: The evidence provided by our study contributes to decision making in the formulation of public policies aimed at reducing food loss and waste as well as food insecurity. It also serves to monitor progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Funding Sources: None
National Institute of Public Health, Mexico Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico