Facts about Food Waste

Food Waste

Fact: About 14 million tons of food waste is generated every year in the United States.

Abstract: Food waste makes up the majority of all waste in landfills in the United States. Not only are food consumption levels high, but along with them are food loss levels. This weighs a heavy cost on our households, businesses, and most importantly – our environment. This problem stems deep into our consumption habits and over-production. Once the facts about food waste are revealed, any one of us can make an effort to reverse the effects.

Source: National Resources Defense Council

Interested in facts about the environment? Check out or environmental facts section!



Millions of tons of food waste – that’s hundreds of millions of pounds of food wasted. Uneaten food qualifies as food waste and serves as more than 30% of our food supply in the United States alone. The U.S. is one of the biggest wasters in the world. Every second, over 50 tons of household waste is thrown out, a lot of it being uneaten food or preparation scraps. According to the EPA, (Environmental Protection Agency) there are over 3,000 active landfills along with 10,000 retired ones. Where does all this waste go? Into our environment! Get the facts about household waste and food waste.

Impact of Food Waste on our Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency provides a lot of horrifying information about waste in the United States. Here are some facts you would be surprised at:

  • A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that food waste in 2010 alone was valued at $161.6 billion
  • The EPA states that each year the United States spends about $1 billion to dispose of this waste
  • From the International Water Management Institute: Perishable food is prone to being spoiled and wasted; the United States and other developed countries have the highest percentage of this food production.

Check out the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy to see the efforts being made to prevent and reduce food waste.

Efforts to Reduce Food Waste

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has teamed up with the Society of St. Andrew and dedicated themselves to feeding the hungry in America. This is a huge effort with tens of thousands of volunteers pitching in to make a difference with those in need.

Their website serves as a major educational resource and a portal for those who would like to get involved. There you can see the growing number of “pounds of food wasted in the U.S. in 2015,” which rises every second above 89 billion. But there is a bright side of things. You can also see that over 14 million pounds of food was saved and distributed by the movement in 2015 to date. Volunteers can truly make a difference in reducing food waste, once you know all the facts about waste you can consciously choose what you eat or throw out. Over-consumption serves as a problem in the United States as well as other developed countries. Out of all landfills worldwide food serves as the largest component. Meanwhile, those who are hungry may survive on this food had it not been wasted. Taking an active role in alleviating this situation does not necessarily mean you must go out and feed the hungry. It can be as simple as buying only as much food as you will eat, and spreading the facts about food waste.

Still not convinced? Watch John Oliver talk about food waste and get up close and personal with America’s wasted food in this episode from Last Week Tonight.

Team up with Produce from the Heart, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing food waste and hunger. Check out their Facebook page here.

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