Study: Americans Throw Out 40 Percent of Their Food

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According to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away about 40 percent of the country’s food supply, annually, which is a worth $165 billion.

The study says that a family of four throws out $2,275 of food annually and the average American tthrows away ten times as much food as someone living in Southeast Asia.

Fresh produce in grocery stores adds up to $15 billion annually thrown away, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Half of American soil and many other key resources are used for agriculture – the Natural Resources Defense Council says wasted food eats up a quarter of all freshwater consumed in the U.S. along with 4% of the oil while producing 23% of the methane emissions.

In its report, the council urges the government to set a target for food-waste reduction. Companies should look for alternatives in their supply chain, such as making so-called baby carrots out of carrots too bent to be sold whole at the retail level.

The study also asks Americans to learn when food goes bad and to become less averse to buying scarred or otherwise imperfect produce. The average consumer should also save and eat leftovers, researchers said.


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