United States – How much food is wasted in America?

food waste

Food waste is a significant issue in the United States.

Estimations suggest that approximately 35% of food produced in the country is wasted each year.

This is a very large amount and equates to around 140 billion pounds of food. Approximately, it can also be translated to one pound of food per person per day.

Statistics of food waste in the US

The most wasted food type in the USA is bread. Statistics show that around 38% of all grain products are lost every year across the country.

In the second place there is milk, with an estimated 5.9 million glasses, or nearly 20% of the total amount produced. Finally, we find potatoes, 5.8 million of which are thrown away annually.

Factors contributing to food waste

Several factors contribute to food waste in the United States. The first of which is overproduction. In the United States, there is frequently an excess of food produced, which can lead to waste if it is not consumed.

Another reason is inadequate storage and transportation method. Food, especially cold products, can go to waste if not kept or transported correctly, leading to spoilage or damage.

Expiration dates are another cause of food waste. Many consumers and retailers throw away food that has passed its end date, even though it may still be safe to eat. It must be said that legislation plays an important part here in reducing the potential of food waste.

Consumers and retailers also often throw away food that does not meet certain aesthetic criteria, such as flaws or irregular shapes. These food products, such as fruit and vegetables are usually still perfectly good to eat.

Finally, consumers may purchase more food than they require, leading to waste if it is not used before it rots or goes bad. This is especially true in the case of fresh produce.

Impact on economy and environment

The impact of food waste goes beyond just wasted resources and money. Food waste is also a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, as the decay of food in landfills generates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Reducing food waste can therefore help to mitigate climate change and protect the environment. For this reason, consumers, governments and businesses worldwide should make a greater effort to reduce food waste, as it makes both environmental and economic sense.

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