Throwing away food is like stealing from poor, says Pope
Pope Francis has attacked a "culture of waste" and stressed that discarding food was like stealing from the world's poor.
"Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, and we are unable to see its real value," the Pope said at his weekly audience in St Peter's Square.
"This culture of waste has made us insensitive to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
"Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry."
Since taking office in March, Pope Francis has called for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to do more to defend the poor and to practise greater austerity.
Around 1.3 billion tonnes of food, or one-third of what is produced for human consumption, gets lost or wasted every year, according to the United Nations' food agency.
A UN-backed study released yesterday said simple measures such as better storage and reducing over-sized portions would sharply cut the vast amount of food going to waste.
The UN says hunger affects some 870 million people.
The pontiff warned that too much focus on money and materialism meant financial market dips were viewed as tragedies while human suffering had become normal and ignored. (© Daily Telegraph, London)