Americans Throw Out 40 Percent of Food, Says Study

Americans Throw Out 40 Percent of Food, Says Study

A new report released Tuesday revealed that Americans throw away nearly half their food every year, putting about $165 billion annually in their trash cans.

The study was conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council's food and agriculture program and examined the wasteful food habits of an average American family of four.

The NRDC, which is a nonprofit environmental organization, stated in the report that Americans throw out 40 percent of the food they buy every year. That translates to the average American family of four throwing away an equivalent of up to $2,275 annually in food.

"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," Dana Gunders, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council's food and agriculture program, told Reuters.

Researchers speculate that as little as a 15 percent reduction in the amount of food that is thrown away in the U.S. each year would be able to feed 25 million hungry Americans annually.

They also explain that it would also cut back and the filling of landfills, given that solid food waste comprises the majority of solid waste found in landfills, according to the NRDC report.

One other revelation that came about during the publication of this report that there is evidence to support a dramatic increase in solid food waste- a 50 percent rise in U.S. food waste since the 1970s. Of that food, fruits and vegetables comprise the largest category of sustenance that is thrown away.

The NRDC has also asked help from the U.S. government to identify inefficiencies in the national food system and to implement goals to help control waste.

"No matter how sustainably our food is farmed, if it's not being eaten, it is not a good use of resources," Gunders told Reuters.


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