Every year, the planet loses nearly a third of its food (28%!)—a staggering 1.4 billion tons. That’s according to a 2011 United Nations study that assessed food networks in 152 countries. The researchers’ results reveal where in the food-supply chain farmers, engineers, and consumers might more effectively get comestibles into mouths.

The planet may have to feed a global population of 10 billion people by 2050. With that milestone looming, organizations like the U.N., the National Resources Defense Council, and Food Tank are working on ways to make food systems more efficient. The infographic above illustrates the various points in the supply chain where food is lost. From agriculture to post-harvest, processing to distribution and consumption there is loss. Sadly, the closer to the table it gets – the higher the rate of loss. Stop throwing stuff out!

To tackle food waste, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and partner Worrell Water Technologies developed a one-square-inch packet that extends the refrigerated life of fruits and vegetables by up to five weeks. Each permeable packet contains Curoxin vapor, a proprietary disinfectant that releases slowly inside a clamshell container and envelops fresh food in an antimicrobial cloud. The effect? Water loss and fungal growth are significantly arrested, which maintains produces’ firmness, color, and taste. Currently in trials, Curoxin should be available in 2015.

How The World Wastes Food [Infographic] | Popular Science.