Vatican City

Pope blasts consumerism, bemoans food waste again

Throwing food away like stealing from poor, says via @Pontifex

Pope blasts consumerism, bemoans food waste again

Vatican City, June 7 - Pope Francis blasted the modern consumer culture via Twitter on Friday and bemoaned the obscene amount of food that is wasted when hundreds of million do not have enough to eat. "Consumerism has accustomed us to waste," Francis said via the @Pontifex account. "But throwing food away is like stealing it from the poor and hungry". The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation says that roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year - approximately 1.3 billion tonnes - gets lost or wasted. The FAO says that if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed the world's 870 million hungry people. The Argentine pope has made calling for greater respect to the environment a recurrent theme of his papacy, as did his predecessor Benedict XVI. Francis links the issue to another of his central concerns, the need to combat poverty and hunger, which he sees as a result of the misplaced values of a modern world too preoccupied with money and power and not sufficiently devoted to solidarity. "If on a winter's night, here nearby in Via Ottaviano, for example, a person dies, that is not news," the pope said at his general audience on Wednesday. "If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news, it seems normal. "It cannot be this way. Yet these things become the norm: that some homeless people die of cold on the streets is not news. "In contrast, a 10-point drop on the stock markets of some cities, is a tragedy. "A person dying is not news, but if the stock markets drop 10 points it is a tragedy. Thus people are disposed of, as if they were trash". Friday's tweet echoed the comments about food waste that he made at his general audience, which coincided with World Environment Day. "This culture of waste has made us insensitive even 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," Francis said. "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, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. "We should all remember, however, that the food we throw away is as if stolen from the table of the poor, the hungry".

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