While millions of Americans live in poverty and struggle to put food on the table, nearly one-third of food in the United States is wasted, says a new study by the Department of Agriculture.
According to this new report, "The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States," 133 billion of the 430 billion pounds of food produced for Americans was wasted in 2010.
The Washington Times reports that the reasons for wasting the food included: wrongly cooked, dented cans, spills, mold, poor coloring, religious beliefs or disinterest.
Also, millions of American adults are easily confused by the simple label dates that say “use-by” and “best before."
“This amount of food loss translates into 141 trillion calories in 2010," said the Department of Agriculture's study. "These estimates suggest that annual food loss in the United States is substantial."
While tons of food is wasted, about 49 million Americans go hungry every day. The food that could feed them ends up in landfills instead.
A United Nations report, "Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources," noted in 2013 that one third of the world's food is wasted.
“All of us, farmers and fishers, food processors and supermarkets, local and national governments, individual consumers, must make changes at every link of the human food chain to prevent food wastage from happening in the first place, and re-use or recycle it when we can’t,” Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, told Ens-Newswire.com. “We simply cannot allow one-third of all the food we produce to go to waste or be lost because of inappropriate practices, when 870 million people go hungry every day.”