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Discarded food and resource depletion

Food systems are driven by incentives that often lead to food being discarded before entering the market and to the degradation of natural resources. Vegetable production in the water-scarce province of Almería, Spain, illustrates this and highlights the need for policies ensuring ethical and environmental sustainability standards.

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Fig. 1: Recent trends in Almería’s tomato production.
Fig. 2: Environmental impact associated with vegetables discarded in Andalusia in 2018 and 2019.


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The authors are funded by the European Research Council grant agreement no. 647038 (BIODESERT). F.T.M. acknowledges support from Generalitat Valenciana (CIDEGENT/2018/041).

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Correspondence to Jaime Martínez-Valderrama.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Martínez-Valderrama, J., Guirado, E. & Maestre, F.T. Discarded food and resource depletion. Nat Food 1, 660–662 (2020).

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