Crop Consumption

Converting What We Grow to What We Eat

Two-thirds of the crops we grow are not converted to calories that humans consume.  Waste from crops left in the ground, harvested but not eaten, and thrown in the home trash account for 2,300 of the 6,00 kCals of crops grown daily.  Reducing this waste could have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, as the food system accounts for up to 1/3 of emissions.  Mike Berners-Lee, a researcher at the University of Lancaster in England, carried out the analysis, which is summarized in the chart below:

Crop Consumption

The cascade chart walks the reader through the steps going from crops produced to calories consumed by humans.  I used sub-total bars to show the intermediate steps of harvested crops and crops consumed.  I used red to highlight and group waste  I showed both percentages in the bars and total calories to the right of the bars.  To get the percentages in the bar, I used the 100% row feature of Mekko Graphics.  Here is the chart in SlideShare to download: