Feeding Livestock and creating Starch-based Ethanol
A number of food-wasteful practices are also being conducted, hindering efforts to eliminate hunger and increase food security for the future. Despite being the world's largest producer of corn, approximately 15 billion bushels (1 bushel = 56lb = 25.4kg) annually, much of the United State's corn does not go to feeding the people. 36% of corn goes to feeding livestock, while 40% of the corn goes to producing starch-based ethanol, leaving less than a quarter of the corn going to actual human consumption. Although the corn used to feed animals ends up as food for the people, as mentioned in the inefficiencies page, animals convert very little of the energy into actual meat. This means that even if all the corn fed to livestock was fed to chickens at the most efficient rate of 15%, more than 10 billion bushels of maize which could have been used for human consumption is lost. This is the equivalent of 3676.65 billion Btu (British Thermal Units. 1 BTU = 1.05kj) , enough to feed 1.275 billion people every year.
According to Tristam Stuart from Ted Talks, in developed countries there is twice as much food on the shelves of shops, than is required to feed the population that lives there. However, if you expand the data that presents this statistic to include food used to feed livestock, countries such as the United States has four times as much food than what is needed to feed its population. Yet, why is food security still a challenge? This is because waste occurs at every level throughout the food production process, some of which can be avoided and some of which cannot. As Stuart says, one ninth goes to waste because of a lack of infrastructure such as refrigeration. One third of all food goes to feeding livestock, of which one third remains as meat and dairy products. Two ninths goes directly into bins, leaving humans with four ninths of the food that has actually been produced. Another factor is "cosmetic imperfection", where those who purchase food from farmers, such as supermarkets, do not accept food because they are the wrong shape or size. This applies not only to food and vegetables, but livestock as well, where parts such as the head and tail are thrown away. 40-60% of fish is discarded at sea.