Food waste comprises about 40 percent of all food generated in the United States, according to a new study.
The analysis by the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that Americans are throwing away the equivalent of $165 million in unconsumed food each year, according to a news release.
The brief, “Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill,”analyzes recent case studies and government data across the U.S. food supply chain.
Among the brief’s conclusions: there hasbeen a 50-percent jump in U.S. food waste since the 1970s; food waste is the single largest component of solid waste in U.S. landfills; the average American family throws away an equivalent of up to $2,275 in food annually; and just a 15-percent reduction in food waste would save enough food to feed 25 million Americans annually.
“As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path – that’s money and precious resources down the drain,” said Dana Gunders, NRDC project scientist with the food and agriculture program. “With the price of food continuing to grow, and drought jeopardizing farmers nationwide, now is the time to embrace all the tremendous untapped opportunities to get more out of our food system. We can do better.”