40 Percent Of Americas Food Supply Wasted, Sent To The Garbage Bin

Source: Americans throw away 40 percent of their food
Americans are tossing away 40 percent of their food essentially every other piece of food that crosses our plate or the equivalent of $2,275 a year for a family of four, according to a new report.

Food waste has swelled by 50 percent since the 1970s in this country. A total $165 billion annually in leftovers gets trashed by homeowners and in unsold or unused perishables or scraps dumped by grocers or restaurants, according to research compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Given the drought, rising food prices, and increased food demands we’re looking at as the population grows, having a more efficient food system is going to be a critical for Americans survival.

Trimming waste in the U.S. food supply by only 15 percent would save enough edible goods to feed 25 million Americans annually.

Dated foods: In the U.K. the government has worked to standardize expiration dates on food and beverage products. Many British grocers have stopped including those dates often merely a tool to help store clerks stock their shelves with the older products out front. Instead, they use codes to help organize their goods. And if dates are included, they are truly meant to reflect when the food item is no longer healthy to eat or drink.

In the United States, we see them as safety dates but they’re actually not safety dates. And these dates are not regulated federally for the most part. They are meant to indicate the manufacturers’ suggestion for peak quality rather than anything that would indicate the food is actually going bad. So a lot of people just throw it out after that date, not understanding that.”

11 responses to “40 Percent Of Americas Food Supply Wasted, Sent To The Garbage Bin

  1. Great post. For everyone with an interest in this topic, I would recommend “The Gleaners and I” documentary (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the-gleaners-and-i/)


  2. Pingback: Food & You « SwittersB & Fly Fishing

  3. Beyond the obvious: prepare only what you will eat or serve again as left-overs; we need more compost piles, goats and pigs. With those sources sending our food waste back to dirt, and recycling for most other products, we should have little to put into the trash.


  4. Reblogged this on Shopping in my basement and commented:
    This is a blog that I follow, and I’ve re-blogged his previous work on expiration dates. This too, is one of those pieces that is just too good not to share. Well done Town & Country Gardening!


  5. Such a good article. Bravo for putting it out there. I’m tweeting it out.


  6. I’ve worked in diners forever, and it has never ceased to amaze me how much food gets tossed. From people who “don’t do leftovers,” to the restaurants having to toss out unsold food, I would guess that hundreds of pounds of food got tossed every week in my tiny luncheonette alone. Now, multiply that by about a bazillion….
    I wonder, every time I grocery shop, just how much food gets thrown away every day in my local grocery store alone. Thinking about all groceries, all over the country…it’s staggering.


  7. Reblogged this on Flat Creek Rolling and commented:
    The following is a post from Town and Country Gardening blog I found of interest, and really quite sad.


  8. We North Americans throw away a LOT of stuff. One fellow working in a pet store posted about nine large new aquariums going into their dumpster. He hinted that someone might fish them out, but another employee had tossed a crate on top and smashed them.
    And we’re creating a social problem by following fashion trends, getting rid of perfectly good but outdated clothing (and easing our conscience) by donating it to ‘charity’. The poor come to expect the ‘rich’ to supply their needs, but there’s little appreciation.
    I managed a second-hand clothing store for a year and came to see this disposal method as not very healthy in the long run.


  9. I saw this, too, and it’s utterly disgusting. This is exactly why some people who can afford to buy food actively choose to dumpster dive food to feed themselves and their families.


  10. I hate seeing food wasted.


  11. The 20-Something Budget

    Definitely an eye-opener! I always take expiration or “use by” dates with a grain of salt.


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