In US, is food wasted?

I found an interesting article that said that Americans throw away up to 40 percent of their food every year.

This number comes from analysis released recently by the Natural Resources Defense Council. I don’t doubt this – I try my best to use up food before it goes bad in my fridge, but there are always things to throw out.

For now, the relatively low U.S. prices make it easy to toss food, which may explain why the average American family of four ends up trashing the equivalent of up to $2,275 worth of food each year, the report said. These wasteful tendencies have worsened over time, with the average American dumping 10 times as much food as a consumer in Southeast Asia, up 50 percent from the 1970s.

This article in the Cullman Times is so concerned with the amount of waste that leftover foods are leaving in landfills. Their analysis finds that food makes up the largest component of solid waste in landfills. This is a sad fact, but they don’t point out other contributors to increased landfills – {cough, cough, OIL, cough, cough}.

They even had the gall to blame farmers as the “market also forces growers to cull the crops they do harvest, removing foods (produce in particular) with blemishes or other cosmetic defects.” Once perishable goods are shipped, they are too often rejected by distributors responsible for getting them to the stores and even by food banks, which sometimes receive more food than they could use at once, the NRDC report said.

Where I am going pointing this out? Even though American’s do waste more food relative to other countries (why are we comparing anyways?), we do have the most affordable food supply. The most abundant food supply. And the most wholesome food supply.

The only good thing about food being in landfills is that it is – in fact – organic matter that will naturally decompose unlike those millions of plastic bottles. And to point out that Americans have a choice for fresh and affordable food thanks to American Agriculture.

3 thoughts on “In US, is food wasted?

  1. Yet 1 in 6 Americans is food insecure. I can speak for our food bank as the food acquisition coordinator, we do not turn away food that has slight cosmetic damage. We ensure food safety of course, but we love all foods that the consumer market may not.

  2. It would be interesting to how the US compares with the rest of the industrial countries. I don't remember the exact number, but I have heard Trent Loos on one of his radio programs comment on how much more food is wasted in Europe than here in the US.

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