Topic 1.1: Basic definitions

Food – Any substance—whether processed, semi-processed, or raw—that is intended for human consumption or we can expect people to consume.

Food wastage – Food wastage refers to any food lost by deterioration or waste. Thus, the term “wastage” encompasses both food loss and food waste.” (FAO, 2013)

Edible parts of food – components associated with food, in its fresh mass status, that are usually consumed by humans, either as being processed/cooked or after processing/cooking. The definition of edible parts of food might differ from country to country, or from region to region, according to local culture and habits.

Inedible parts of food – parts which were not separated from the edible parts when the food was produced (including all the stages of production, processing and distribution), such as bones attached to meat destined for human consumption, orange peels, seeds… In concordance, the definition of inedible food depends on the culture and habits of the consumer.

By Freepik

Difference beetwen food waste and food loss

  • Food loss refers to any food that is discarded, incinerated or otherwise disposed of along the food supply chain from harvest/slaughter/catch up to, excluding the retail level, and is not used for any other productive use, such as animal feed or seed.
  • Food waste refers to food that is discarded at the level of retailers, food service providers and consumers. Food is wasted in many ways, for example
  • Fresh produce that deviates from what is considered optimal (e.g. size, shape or colour) and is removed during sorting actions.
    • Foods that are discarded by retailers or consumers when it’s close to or beyond the expiration date.
    • Unused or leftover food that is thrown away from households or restaurants.