We are throwing out $162 billion worth of perfectly good food each year. This not only wastes food, but it wastes money, water, and the natural resources needed to grow the food that is never eaten.
- 28% of the world’s farmland, an area larger than Canada, is used to grow food that is never eaten
- 25% of the US fresh water supply goes into producing food that is never eaten
- Food waste is the largest component of solid waste in US landfills
- In the US, 290 pounds of food is wasted per person each year, costing a family of four $1,500 for food they never eat
- People are the worst wasters. The American kitchen wastes more food than grocery stores, restaurants or any other part of the supply chain
- Research has shown that shoppers who use a written list – only about 25% of us do – have lower grocery bills, make fewer shopping trips, and waste less food
In 2016 the Obama administration set a target to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030. The United Nations issued a similar worldwide goal shortly thereafter. Since consumers are responsible for the bulk of all food waste, there is a lot each of us can do to achieve this goal.
Most Americans don’t give food waste a thought as they toss perfectly good food in the trash. We should. When it comes to food we need to adopt the only-buy-what-we-need and use-it-up mindset.