Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Food waste higher than its ever been.

About 40% of all food produced in the United States goes to waste – an amount worth about $165 billion, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The report claims that the relatively low cost of food at retail is a major factor in household food waste, as food spending now accounts for less than 10% of average household income, the lowest proportion in history. 

An average family of four throws away food worth about $2,275 a year. Portion sizes in restaurants have grown to twice to eight times recommended standard serving sizes, meaning more food ends up in the trash, and retailers toss about $15 billion worth of unsold fruits and vegetables every year.

Overall waste has increased by half in the United States since the 1970s. Among the most frequently wasted items in the United States are produce, 52% of which goes to waste, seafood (50%), grain products (38%), meat (22%), and dairy (20%).

NRDC suggests that businesses, consumers and government should work together to reduce food waste, by introducing measures that would clarify date labels on food, improve food recovery, and encourage less wasteful shopping habits.

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