Wednesday, May 29, 2013

40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten

Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S.
land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States.

Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten.

This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions.

Reducing food losses by just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans, producing an extra $24billion opportunity in sales  every year, at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables.

Increasing the efficiency of our food system is a triple-bottom-line solution that requires collaborative efforts by businesses, governments and consumers.

The U.S. government should conduct a comprehensive study of losses in our food system and set national goals for waste reduction

Businesses should seize opportunities to streamline their own operations, reduce food losses and save
money; and consumers can waste less food by shopping wisely, knowing when food goes bad, buying produce that
is perfectly edible even if it’s less cosmetically attractive, cooking only the amount of food they need, and eating
their leftovers.