By: Courtney Luecking MPH, MS, RD Doctoral candidate: Nutrition
Have you ever thought about how much food you throw away each day? Each week?
In general, America wastes about 40% of the food that is produced each year (Gunders, 2012). That amount of food weighs as much as 123 Empire State Buildings and has economic, environmental, and social costs. The image from the Food and Agriculture Organization details specific examples of those costs.
What exactly is food waste?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service, food is considered wasted when edible portions go unconsumed. This happens at all points along the food supply chain – think farms, manufacturing facilities, transportation, businesses, restaurants, and our own homes. If we could reduce food waste along the food supply chain by just a quarter, this would provide more than 25 million people nutritious, edible food (Gunders, 2012).
How can we reduce food waste?
Check out and support the @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign.
Choose one or a few of the tips from the USDA’s infographic.
Every little bit we don’t waste can have a big impact on our wallets, the wellbeing of our community members, and the health of our environment!
Grace Communications Foundation. Food Waste. http://www.sustainabletable.org/5664/food-waste
Gunders, D. (2012). Wasted: How America is Losing up to 40 of Its Food From Farm to Fork to Landfill. National Resources Defense Council. http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf
Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign. http://www.endfoodwaste.org/ugly-fruit—veg.html
USDA. Let’s Talk Trash. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/lets-talk-trash