How Much is Wasted?
- Each year, Americans discard more than 96 billion pounds of good food. If 5% was recovered, it could provide the equivalent of a day’s food for four million hungry people.
- Americans are tossing out at least $75 billion in food each year. We waste half of the food produced in our country, or 27% of the edible food available, according to the USDA.
- Fast food chains sometimes waste up to 40% of their food.
- At home, the average American family throws away 14 percent of their food–almost $600 every year in meats, fruit, vegetables and grain products.
- Food scraps or leftovers, according to the EPA, comprise the single-largest component of waste by weight in the United States, at the cost of $1 billion for disposal.
- On his Wasted Food blog, Jonathan Bloom places that figure at more than 150 billion pounds.
I know when you throw away that bit of steamed vegetables that didn’t get eaten at dinner, or the heels from your bread, or the leftovers that got lost (and nasty) in the back of your fridge, it feels like just a peanut, a miniscule amount in the scheme of things. But all those peanuts are adding up to one big mess. Let us polish our lenses and increase our perspective of the peanut on the floor (and the one in the garbage!).