Huffington Post: Rich Countries Trashing Up To Half Of All Food: Report
... People in developed countries throw away 30 to 50 percent of the food they purchase, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In total, the researchers estimated, 1.2 to 2 billion tons of food is thrown out every year without reaching a human stomach.
A major reason we're tossing our food is that stores push us to buy too much of it, the report found. Additionally, supermarkets often reject shipments of vegetables and fruits that don't meet their marketing standards. As a result, 30 to 50 percent of food produced on the planet is discarded as useless, even if some of it is perfectly edible.
Similar studies have reached the same conclusion. Americans throw away about 40 percent of all food they purchase, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released in August. ...
My understanding is that there is also food waste in developing nations, though for different reasons. Poor infrastructure and technology lead to spoilage and waste as the food moves from the field to the dinner plate. A combination of more productive agricultural methods and just modest reductions in waste would make food more plentiful without using one more acre of land.