January 20/Brussels, Belgium/Business Insider Europe -- The European Commission has issued a new report that looks at the issue of food waste in the EU.

The results are damning:
* Up to 50% of food is wasted.
* If nothing is done, food waste will grow 40% by 2020.
* 60% of household waste is avoidable. There is 179 kg per capita every year.

Meanwhile 79 million EU citizens live beneath the poverty line, and 16 million depend on food aid from charitable institutions.

So what's to be done? The commission's report makes a number of recommendations, arguing that food producers should offer a wider variety of sizes of food, and a reform of "sell by" and "use by" dates used in most countries. At the government level, more initiatives are hoped for that could redistribute unsold food to the food to the needy.

 From the January 20, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.