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Waste Not, Want Not

Feeding the 9 Billion: The Tragedy of Waste

  A) By 2075, the United Nations’ mid-range projection for global population is about 9。5 billion。 This means that there could be an extra three billion mouths to feed by the end of the century, a period in which substantial changes are anticipated in the wealth, calorie intake and dietary preferences of people in developing countries across the world。 Such a projection presents mankind with wide-ranging social, economic, environmental and political issues that need to be addressed today to ensure a sustainable future for all。 One key issue is how to produce more food in a world of finite resources。

  B) Today, we produce about four billion metric tonnes of food per year。 Yet due to poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, as well as market and consumer wastage, it is estimated that 30-50% of all food produced never reaches a human stomach。 Furthermore, this figure does not reflect the fact that large amounts of land, energy, fertilisers and water have also been lost in the production of foodstuffs which simply end up as waste。 This level of wastage is a tragedy that cannot continue if we are to succeed in the challenge of sustainably meeting our future food demands。

Where Food Waste Happens

   C) In 2010, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers identified three principal emerging population groups across the world, based on characteristics associated with their current and projected stage of economic development.

• Fully developed, mature, post-industrial societies, such as those in Europe, characterised by stable or declining populations which are increasing in age.

• Late-stage developing nations that are currently industrialising rapidly, for example China, which will experience declining rates of population growth, coupled with increasing affluence (富裕)and age profile。 

• Newly developing countries that are beginning to industrialise, primarily in Africa, with high to very high population growth rates, and characterised by a predominantly young age profile.

  D) Each group over the coming decades will need to address different issues surrounding food production, storage and transportation, as well as consumer expectations, if we are to continue to feed all our people.

 E) In less-developed countries, such as those of sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, wastage tends to occur primarily at the farmer-producer end of the supply chain。 Inefficient harvesting, inadequate local transportation and poor infrastructure (基础设施)mean that produce is frequently handled inappropriately and stored under unsuitable farm site conditions。

  F) In mature, fully developed countries such as the UK, more-efficient farming practices and better transport, storage and processing facilities ensure that a larger proportion of the food produced reaches markets and consumers. However, characteristics associated with modern consumer culture mean produce is often wasted through retail and customer behaviour. 

  G) Major supermarkets, in meeting consumer expectations, will often reject entire crops of perfectly edible fruit and vegetables at the farm because they do not meet exacting marketing standards for their physical characteristics, such as size and appearance。 

  H) Of the produce that does appear in the supermarket, commonly used sales promotions frequently encourage customers to purchase excessive quantities which, in the case of perishable foodstuffs, inevitably generate wastage in the home. Overall between 30% and 50% of what has been bought in developed countries is thrown away by the purchaser.

Better Use of Our Finite Resources

  I) Wasting food means losing not only life-supporting nutrition but also precious resources, including land, water and energy. As a global society, therefore, tackling food waste will help contribute towards addressing a number of key resource issues. 

  J) Land Usage:Over the last five decades, improved farming techniques and technologies have helped to significantly increase crop yields along with a 12% expansion of farmed land use. However, a further increase in farming area without impacting unfavorably on what remains of the world’s natural ecosystems appears unlikely. The challenge is that an increase in animal-based production will require more land and resources, as livestock (牲畜)farming demands extensive land use. 

  K) Water Usage: Over the past century, human use of fresh water has increased at more than double the rate of population growth. Currently about 3.8 trillion m of water is used by humans per year. About 70% of this is consumed by the global agriculture sector, and the level of use will continue to rise over the coming decades. 

  L) Better irrigation can dramatically improve crop yield and about 40% of the world's food supply is currently derived from irrigated land. However, water used in irrigation is often sourced unsustainably. In processing foods after the agricultural stage, there are large additional uses of water that need to be tackled in a world of growing demand. This is particularly crucial in the case of meat production, where beef uses about 50 times more water than vegetables. In the future, more effective washing techniques, management procedures, and recycling and purification of water will be needed to reduce wastage. 

  M) Energy Usage: Energy is an essential resource across the entire food production cycle, with estimates showing an average of 7-10 calories of input being required in the production of one calorie of food. This varies dramatically depending on crop, from three calories for plant crops to 35 calories in the production of beef. Since much of this energy comes from the utilisation of fossil fuels, wastage of food potentially contributes to unnecessary global warming as well as inefficient resource utilisation.

  N) In the modern industrialised agricultural process---which developing nations are moving towards in order to increase future yields—energy usage in the making and application of fertilisers and pesticides represents the single biggest component. Wheat production takes 50% of its energy input for these two items alone. Indeed, on a global scale, fertiliser manufacturing consumes about 3-5% of the world's annual natural gas supply. With production anticipated to increase by 25% between now and 2030, sustainable energy sourcing will become an increasingly major issue. Energy to power machinery, both on the farm and in the storage and processing facilities, adds to the energy total, which currently represents about 3.1% of annual global energy consumption.


  O) Rising population combined with improved nutrition standards and shifting dietary preferences will exert pressure for increases in global food supply. Engineers, scientists and agriculturalists have the knowledge, tools and systems that will assist in achieving productivity increases. However, pressure will grow on finite resources of land, energy and water. The potential to provide 60-100% more food by simply eliminating losses, while simultaneously freeing up land, energy and water resources for other uses, is an opportunity that should not be ignored. In order to begin tackling the challenge, the Institution recommends that:

  The UN Food and Agriculture Organization work with the international engineering community to ensure governments of developed nations put in place programmes that transfer engineering knowledge, design know-how, and suitable technology to newly developing countries. This will help improve produce handling in the harvest, and immediate post-harvest stages of food production.

• Governments of rapidly developing countries incorporate waste minimisation thinking into the transport infrastructure and storage facilities currently being planned, engineered and built.

• Governments in developed nations devise and implement policy that changes consumer expectations. These should discourage retailers from wasteful practices that lead to the rejection of food on the basis of cosmetic characteristics, and losses in the home due to excessive purchasing by consumers.

1.[选词填空]Beef consumes far more water to produce than vegetables。
    • 解题思路:由题干中的Beef, more water和 vegetables 定位到 L)段。细节辨认题。定位段提到,在随后的食品加工业中,更是需要使用大量的水来满足世界益增长的需求。这在肉类生产过程中尤为显著——生产牛肉的用水量是种植蔬菜用水量的50倍。题干中的 Beef consumes far more water 对应原文中的 beef uses about 50 times more water than vegetables,故答案力 L)。

    2.[选词填空]It is recommended that engineering knowledge and suitable technology in developed countries be introduced to developing countries to improve produce handling in the harvest.
      • 解题思路:由题干中的developed countries, throw away 和 excessive quantities 定位到 H)段。细节归纳题。定位段第一句提到,超市经常通过促銷的方式来鼓励消费者大量购买其出售的农产品。接着又说,这些农产品却又都是一些易腐烂食品,因此不可避免地在家里变成了垃圾。最后表明,在发达国家,人们所购买的30%到50%的食物都会被购买者扔掉。题干是对该段的概括,故答案为H)。

      3.[选词填空]The production and application of fertilisers and pesticides account for the largest part of energy use in the modern industrialised agricultural process.
        • 解题思路:由题干中的modern industrialised agricultural process, fertilisers 和pesticides 定位到N)段。细节辨认题。定位段提到,在农业的现代 工业化过程中——为了增加未来的产量,发展中 国家正在朝这一方向靠拔一一能源消耗的最大一部分就是化肥和杀虫剂的生产和使用。题干中的 largest part 对应原文中的 biggest component,故 答案为N)。
        4.[选词填空]Food waste in less-developed countries happens mainly at the producers’ end。
          • 解题思路:由题干中的at the producers’ end定位到E)段。细节辨认题。定位段提到,在欠发达国家, 比如撒哈拉以南的非洲国家和东南亚国家,浪费会出现在供应链上"农民——生产者"这一端。题干 中的at the producers’ end对应原文中的at the farmer-producer end of the supply chain,故答案为E)。

          5.[选词填空]Poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation have resulted in a waste of much of the food we produce and thus a waste of land and resources。
            • 解题思路:由题干中的Poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation 定位到 B)段。细节推断题。定位段提到,由于在收获、存 储和运输过程中的做法欠妥当,加之市场和消费者的浪费,有30%到50%的食物未能被人吃掉。 而且,这一数据还没有显示出在制作那些最终被浪费掉的食品的过程中所损失掉的大量土地、能 源、化肥和水资源。题干中的waste of much of the food 对应原文中的 never reaches a human stomach, a waste of land and resources 对成原文 中的 land, energy, fertilisers and water have also been lost,故答案力B)。


            Perfectly eatable fruit and vegetable crops often fail to reach supermarkets due to their size or physical appearance.

              • 解题思路:由题干中的Perfectly eatable fruit and vegetable crops 和 size or physical appearance 定位到G)段。细节推断题。定位段提到,为了满足消费者的期望,大多数超市经常会整批地拒绝一些在农场里完全可食用的水果和蔬菜,只因为它们的物理特征没能达到市场标准,比如大小和外貌。题干中的fail to reach supermarkets对应原文中的supermarkets... reject entire crops,故答案G)。

              7.[选词填空]Consumers in developed countries throw away nearly half of their food purchases because they tend to buy in excessive quantities。
                • 解题思路:由题干中的developed countries, throw away 和 excessive quantities 定位到 H)段。细节归纳题。定位段第一句提到,超市经常通过促銷的方式来鼓励消费者大量购买其出售的农产品。接着又说,这些农产品却又都是一些易腐烂食品,因此不可避免地在家里变成了垃圾。最后表明,在发达国家,人们所购买的30%到50%的食物都会被购买者扔掉。题干是对该段的概括,故答案为H)。

                8.[选词填空]A further expansion of farming area will adversely impact on the world’s natural ecosystems.
                  • 解题思路:由题干中的further expansion, farming area和ecosystems定位到J)段第二句。细节推断题。定位句提到,在不影响全球 生态体系的情况下增加耕地面积已经不:可能 了。题干中的 further expansion of farming area 对应原文中的 further increase in farming area, 故答案J)。


                  Elimination of waste alone can potentially provide over sixty percent more food for the growing world population.

                    • 解题思路:由题干中的sixty percent more food定位 到O)段。细节辨认题。0)段第四句提到,我们可以 通过减少损耗,将节省下来的土地,能源和水等资源用于其他方面,并使粮产增加60%至100%。 题干中的Elimination of waste alone对应原文中 的 simply eliminating losses,故答案为 O)。

                    10.[选词填空]The predicted global population growth means that ways have to be found to produce more food with finite resources。
                      • 解题思路:由题干中的predicted, more food with finite resources 定位到 A)段。细节推断题。定位段提到,为了能够有一个可持续的未来,有关人类现今的社会、经济、环 境和政治议题都应受到关注。其中,一个重要的议题就是如何用这个世界上有限的资源生产更多 的食物。题干中的The predicted global population growth 对应原文中的projection for global population, produce more food with finite resources 对应原文中的 produce more food in a world of finite resources,故答案力 A)。

                      • 参考答案:L,O,N,E,B,G,H,J,O,A
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