New reports show that 40 percent of food in the United States is never eaten.
According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans waste $165 billion worth of food a year.
The NRDC said that more than 20 pounds of food is wasted each month among 311 million Americans. This amounts to $1,350 to $2,275 annually for a family of four.
“Food is simply too good to waste,” the report said. “Given all the resources demanded for food production, it is critical to make sure that the least amount possible is needlessly squandered on its journey to our plates.”
The report found that American homes are the primary source for waste.
“American families throw out approximately 25% percent of the food and beverages they buy,” the report said. Researchers believe that Americans no longer value food since it is sold much cheaper.
“Food represents a small portion of many Americans’ budgets, making the financial cost of wasting food too low to outweigh the convenience of it,” the report said. “The issue of wasted food is simply not on the radar of many Americans, even those who consider themselves environment-or-cost-conscious.”
The report pointed to enticing impulse buys, buying in bulk and eating out as strong contributors to the waste. They believe most Americans decide to eat out even when there is food left in the refrigerator at home. Experts also found that many families who cook are preparing more than what they can actually consume.
The average size of a dinner plate in the U.S. today is 36 percent larger than it was in 1960.
Restaurants are also held responsible in the report.
The report found that 17 percent of restaurant meals are not eaten and too much food is served.
“Today, portion sizes can be two to eight times larger than USDA or FDA standard serving sizes,” the report indicated.
Restaurants are also charged with stocking more than they can actually serve.
“Particularly wasteful are large buffets, which cannot reuse or even donate most of what is put out because of health code restrictions,” the report said.
The report also blamed retailers.
“The retail model views waste as a part of doing business,” the report said. “Industry executives and managers view appropriate waste as a sign that a store is meeting quality-control and full-shelf standards.”
The report lists the following actions as wasteful retail practices:
Stores overstock displays of fresh produce to give an impression of bounty, leaving items at the bottom bruised and unsellable.
They make too much ready-to-eat food. "One grocer estimated that his store threw away a full 50% of the rotisserie chickens that were prepared," the report said.
They throw out food in damaged or outdated promotional packaging (think holiday cookies) that is still edible.
Farms aren’t excluded from the report’s waste list.
The NDRC found that growers often overplant and have more crops than what is demanded. It also discovered that growers have plenty of edible food, but the food is just not marketable.
“A packer of citrus, stone fruit and grapes estimated that 20% to 50% of the produce he handles is unmarketable but perfectly edible,” the report said.
The report noted that food rotting in landfills makes up for 25% of methane emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, methane can remain in the atmosphere for up to 15 years and is 20 times more likely to trap heat than carbon dioxide.
The overall findings showed that American waste is 10 times more that the waste in Southeast Asia. It is also up 50 percent since the 1970s.
The report offers several recommendations to the large amount of waste such as using standardization of date labels on food. They believe this can provide some assistance since Americans misread the “sell by” or “use by” messages.
The NDRC said that there has to be economic change as well.
“There is the plain economic truth that the more food consumers waste, the more those in the food industry are able to sell,” the report said.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30