In 2018, British people threw away 720 million eggs. A decade earlier, Britons wasted 241 million eggs annually, three times fewer than today.

As vegetarianism and meat-reducing diets gain traction, egg sales have increased—along with wastage.

We lose, damage and spoil an estimated third of all foodstuffs worldwide; North America, Europe and industrialised Asia are the worst offenders.

Food waste represents a critical loss of sustenance for humans, depleting resources such as soil, water, and energy. It poses a biohazard in landfills and releases toxic greenhouse gases.

In 2018, scientists calculated that a dozen eggs produced 2.7 kilogrammes of CO2.

So producing the amount of eggs which Britons wasted last year released 162 million kilogrammes of CO2 emissions, enough to drive your average car for 718 years uninterruptedly.

Consumer research published Tuesday revealed 29%—close to a third—of Britons discard uneaten eggs because of their best-before date, limited to 28 days even though eggs can remain fresh up to five weeks after being laid.

Are excessively stringent food safety policies encouraging food waste?

Is the risk of an upset stomach—and possible litigation for food suppliers—worth the environmental, economic, and ethical damage of chronic food waste?

     

Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.