Americans Discard 40 Percent Of The Food Supply Every Year

Posted August 23, 2012 by Astrid in MatriPuntos
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The NRDC report said Americans discard 40 percent of the food supply every year, and the average American family of four ends up throwing away an equivalent of up to $2,275 annually in food.

40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25 percent of all freshwateri and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land.

“As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path. That’s money and precious resources down the drain,” said Dana Gunders, author of this study and scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s food and agriculture program.

The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia,12 up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s.13 This means there was once a time when we wasted far less, and we can get back there again. Doing so will ultimately require a suite of coordinated solutions, including changes in supply-chain operation, enhanced market incentives, increased public awareness and adjustments in consumer behavior.

Consumer behavior related to food = Poor Habits

Now the question is: How can consumers change these poor habits?

  • Plan your meals and shop accordingly. Write a shopping list and stick to it. This helps to prevent impulse buying. And never go shopping when you’re hungry.
  • Don’t shop hungry. It only increases the chances of making impulse purchases that you won’t be able to finish.
  • Learn to use items in creative ways so they’ll last longer.
  • Keep an eye on your serving size. Many times, we feel forced to eat all that’s on our plate. Sharing out less food will cause less waste, and you’ll still be fulfilled.
  • Don’t ignore leftovers. New meals can easily be created from previous meals.
  • Organize your fridge. Often, perfectly good food goes to waste just because it was buried behind the lettuce and the leftovers. Line up your yogurt containers so the ones closest to expiration are in the front.
  • Don’t buy in bulk unless you know the item is one you can finish—or one that never goes bad (i.e., toilet paper).

By: Astrid Rivera




About the Author


Periodista con más de 7 años de experiencia en el mundo de las comunicaciones donde ha tenido la oportunidad de entrevistar a grandes celebridades, politicos y personalidades influyentes. Ella posee un bachillerato en Periodismo y una Maestría en Periodismo Multimedios de Florida International University. En el 2012 fundó una plataforma digital dirigida al mercado hispano. Rivera también es la anfitriona del programa radial Miami Despierta.


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