As the population in Asia continues to grow, so too will consumption trends. According to the United Nations, the Asia and Pacific region has a population of 4.6 billion people, accounting for around 60% of the world's population, and it is projected to increase to as much as 5.2 billion people by 2050, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

This population growth will continue to have significant impacts on the way goods are manufactured and consumed, as the global "take, make, and dispose" lifestyle has already put enormous stress on raw materials and energy resources.

Our food system remains one of the biggest contributors to climate change, generating significant amounts of solid waste and emitting greenhouse gases in the process.

Both food loss (discarded by food suppliers in the value chain, excluding retailers and consumers) and food waste (discarded by retailers or consumers), though occurring at different parts of the food system, are difficult to monitor due to lack of data from many countries.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 18 2021, of The Himalayan Times.