A majority of Americans waste more food than they are aware of -- $162 billion worth of it each year -- according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University. And most are unconcerned about the environmental impact of wasted food, the study also found.
The report, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, stated that the top foods wasted, by weight, are fruits and vegetables, which are the most vulnerable because of their perishability and bulk. And according to the researchers, between 30 percent and 40 percent of all the food supplied in the U.S. is wasted -- and most of it is thrown out by households, restaurants and stores.
"Americans perceive themselves as wasting very little food, but in reality, we are wasting substantial quantities," Roni Neff, lead author of the study and director of the Food System Sustainability and Public Health Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a press release. "It happens throughout the food chain, including both a lot of waste by consumers, and a lot on our behalf, when businesses think we won't buy imperfect food. The root causes are complex," he added.