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20 Jan 2021

If you are a restaurant owner looking to implement food waste reduction programs, or you’re a business owner looking to run a more sustainable business, reach out to Rubicon’s Sustainability team at sustainability@rubicon.com and we will be happy to help. As you can see, source reduction, or simply purchasing less food in the first place, is number one. We're using the power of business to solve global challenges. The annual food waste in America has an approximate value of $161 billion, while the average American family of four throws out $1,500 in wasted food per year. While the negative effects of food waste in America are numerous, this article will focus on the three largest. This is a shocking statistic which unfortunately becomes less surprising the more you learn about the growing problem of food waste in America. More than 54 million people are food insecure (18 million of which are children) according to 2020 data, accounting for one in six people. When food is tossed aside, so too are opportunities for improved food security, economic growth, and environmental prosperity. On April 9, 2019, USDA, EPA, and FDA signed a formal agreement with ReFED, Inc. to collaborate on... Resources. Approximately 38 percent of grain products are lost, 50 percent of seafood, 52 percent of fruits and vegetables, 22 percent of meat, and 20 percent of milk. While it is possible to offset the harm of these emissions through organics recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion, the best way to reduce these emissions is to waste less food in the first place. This equates to 40.7 million tons (81.4 billion pounds) of food waste generated in America in 2017, or between 30-40 percent of the food supply, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). America has more than enough food to feed everyone. How much food is wasted in the U.S. can be seen directly through its monetary losses. Without further ado, here are 20 of the most interesting food waste facts and statistics: To learn more about Rubicon’s work transforming the entire category of waste and recycling, be sure to download our inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report. Don’t be afraid of an emptier fridge. 62 In landfills, food gradually breaks down to form methane, a greenhouse gas that’s up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The reality of food waste in America is that we live in a country in which more than 54 million people are food insecure (18 million of which are children) according to 2020 data collected by Feeding America. Ryan Cooper is a Waste Diversion Manager and the Organics Recycling Lead at Rubicon. The causes of food waste in America go far beyond just tossing our leftovers in the trash, and they are crucial to understand in order to reduce our nation’s collective food waste going forward. Keep reading to learn more about food waste in America. Food Waste by Weight According to a 2014 EPA study, America throws away more than 38 million tons of food every year. Spend less time on trash and more time on your business. These numbers are up from 37 million and 11 million, respectively, in 2019, due to COVID-19. Food Loss and Waste Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative. We’re going to look at what causes food waste at every level of the food supply chain; and how to reduce it. Nearly 40% of food produced in America is lost or wasted.Here is why we need to reduce the amount of food we produce: Cite this page. While not the most dramatic cause of food wastage, increased portion sizes in schools, restaurants, and the home leads to overpurchasing. The latest comprehensive EU-wide report on food waste Source:Fusions EU, from 2012, suggests that the total costs of food waste are about 143 billion euros per year across the EU.Out of this amount, the cost for households is 98 billion. Browse waste and recycling solutions by waste stream. From production and supply, to our tendency to overpurchase, to the unrealistic aesthetic standards we have come to expect from our fruits and vegetables, these are the three main causes of food waste in America: Food wastage occurs at every step of the supply chain, with different types of foods being more or less likely to be lost at each step. USDA is uniquely positioned to help address the problem of food loss and waste through its programs, policies, and guidance. Food Waste in America. While many people believe it’s better to buy fresh food, in reality, frozen food products often retain more nutrients while lasting longer. Unrealistic Cosmetic Standards. We live in a country in which more than 54 million people are food insecure (18 million of which are children) according to 2020 data collected by Feeding America, meaning they lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. As a result, many stores stop accepting them from their suppliers. You’re not alone in not picking up that misshapen carrot in the produce aisle. The cost of food waste is not just attributed to the food you bought and forgot to eat. Hopefully, food waste is never landfilled because it has so many beneficial uses. Sign up to receive Rubicon news and blog content directly in your inbox. Causes of Food Waste in America Cheap food. Food is meant to be eaten not wasted. Food waste in America is exacerbated by unrealistic aesthetic standards for our produce. Bagged food waste amid food waste containers. The healthier you eat, the more important it is that you stay on top of your consumption. The fact that we as a country are wasting 30-40 percent of the food supply each year when more than 54 million Americans are food insecure is unconscionable. Around 12.3 percent of American households were food insecure at some point during 2016, according to USDA. These numbers are up from 37 million and 11 million, respectively, in 2019, with the sharp rise in food insecurity due to the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the subsequent economic downturn. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world after the United States and China. As food rots in a landfill, it emits methane, a greenhouse gas 28 to 36 times more potent than the carbon that comes out of passenger vehicles. Wasted food has far-reaching effects, both nationally and globally. When we waste food, we waste the water, energy, and physical labor it took to produce, package, and ship this food. Website by Road Warrior Creative. A really big deal. But remember to. Most people don't realize how much food they throw away every day — from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection... Additional Activities. Rubicon’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, Ryan Cooper, Waste Diversion Manager and Organics Recycling Lead, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, Food Waste in America: Facts and Statistics. A new study from Penn State revealed that U.S. households waste about a third of the food they purchased every year. Software helping cities run more efficient, effective, and sustainable operations. Food wastage impacts on biodiversity loss at a global level. Trust your sense of smell, and your gut, before throwing items away. Globally, we waste a third of all food produced for human consumption, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). Food waste or food loss is food that is not eaten. Addressing wasted food puts that food and/or money back into circulation, potentially contributing to improved nutrition and, among those with lower incomes, improved food … Highlighting food waste statistics and facts, such as those below, is a good way to help get the word out about this ever-growing problem, but our work can’t stop there. That includes climate-wrecking greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of the food system, plus water, fertilizer, packaging, labor, and more. This is quite … Global preferences for a western diet consisting of a high intake of carbohydrates, sugar, and sodium are major contributors to environmental burdens such as greenhouse gas emissions and land use. Expiration dates are misleading and nonstandardized, leading many to toss out perfectly good food. Before we go any further, here’s a quick primer on the basics of food waste: Rubicon’s mission is to end waste, in all of its forms. Using smaller plates can help you to properly portion your food. Knowing how much food is wasted in America each year is only the first step toward tackling a problem that is bigger than the simple monetary loss. Food waste is a massive environmental issue in the. Software providing an innovative and seamless way to manage your fleet. Food waste is a big deal. Here are some ideas for what you can do to reduce food waste in America: When we talk about reducing food waste in America we would be remiss to not mention the Food Recovery Hierarchy. Learn how to compost to keep food scraps out of landfills, and the amount of greenhouse gases from rising.. 3. (2016, Sep 02). 08/28/2016 10:41 am ET Updated Sep 14, 2016 The annual food waste in America has an approximate value of $161 billion. The average American family of four throws out $1,500 in food per year. Food Insecurity: Just one-third of food waste in the U.S. could end food insecurity if it could be successfully distributed to those in need. The results were similar to previous studies that … As previously indicated, food waste in America costs the average family an estimated $1600 per year in produce — a figure that soon mounts up — while on a global level, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates the true costs of wasted food at approximately $2.6 Trillion, a truly staggering number. While mentioned above, it bears repeating here. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today. According to research from 2019, the state of Vermont is considered to have the worst food waste in the United States. But each year, an enormous amount of food is wasted in the United States. Food Waste in America — A Current Conundrum Food waste is a simple issue to get behind. An innovative assessment of food waste at a U.S. school by an international team of researchers suggests that American school cafeterias waste more food than those in other developed countries, and the true costs extend well beyond just the weight of food not eaten. The United States wastes 30-40 percent of its food supply each year. According to data from the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand that was collected by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 20 percent of fruit and vegetables are lost during production, 12 percent are lost at the distribution and retail level, and a further 28 percent are lost at the consumer level. Shrink wrapping produce helps to reduce food waste by increasing its shelf life. As we just learned, there’s more to food waste than what we do and don’t eat. APA MLA Harvard Chicago ASA IEEE AMA. If we keep this up, reports estimate that in ten years, we’ll waste the equivalent of 66 tons of food per second across the globe. When you’re in the produce aisle at your local supermarket, do you ever put back carrots, potatoes, zucchinis, or any other fruit or vegetable because it doesn’t look as straight, slender, round, or otherwise how we have been conditioned to believe this item should look? Add a dollar sign value so you can see the impact it has on your budget. Food waste is the number one material in America’s landfills, accounting for 21.9 percent of all municipal solid waste (MSW). By 2010, the USDA calculated that American food waste costs about $160 billion in a single year. We waste the fuel that was used to transport this food from one part of the country to another. In this article, we’re going to look at the issues surrounding food waste in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. Thankfully there are outlets for misshapen produce; restaurants don’t care what their carrots look like so long as they can turn them into delicious dishes on the plate, and start-ups such as Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market, and Hungry Harvest make it easy for consumers to receive “ugly produce” right to their door. Landfills are the third-largest industrial emitter of methane, with food waste alone representing 8 percent of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If you buy perishable food in bulk, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat, organize your refrigerator so what you need to eat first is up front and visible. In the US, an estimated 30% to 40% of the total food supply ends up as waste. Don’t forget that in many cities across the U.S., residents pay for trash pickup by volume or weight. In the United States, that equates to approximately one pound of food wasted per person per day. Don’t misinterpret expiration labels on food that’s perfectly good to eat.. Lack of awareness of basic nutrition adds to food waste among consumers. Meaning, food waste in America (banana peels, meat scraps, and eggs shells, not plastic or other trash) is what accounts for the largest waste category contributing to landfills. Only five percent of food is composted in the US and as a result, uneaten food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste. Privacy | Terms & Conditions | © 2021 Rubicon Technologies, LLC. Food waste in America has skyrocketed in recent years, with 40.7 million tons (81.4 billion pounds) of food waste generated in 2017, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the equivalent of over 180,000 Statue of Liberties. Six steps to successful recycling and waste reduction. Software helping U.S. companies stay on top of their local, state, and federal regulatory and compliance obligations across their entire business. Dumpster rental for projects large and small. While academics may question whether food donations can make a difference in long-term poverty and food insecurity, it is clear that … Reducing food waste in America is going to take some time. Waste impacts public, food industry and household budgets; food lost from harvest to consumer in 2010 cost $161.6 billion; losses at the consumer level averaged $371 per capita, or 9.2% of average food spending . Food Waste in America: From Slaughterhouse to Landfill smcdonald October 13, 2014 Animals , Environment , News , Veg Eating Leave a Comment Last month, world leaders convened in New York City for the UN Climate Summit sparking headlines around the world. The following food waste facts and statistics tell the story of food waste in America. Each person who lives in Vermont wastes approximately $1,375 worth of food. Grocery stores have learned over time that consumers don’t tend to purchase misshapen produce. You’re more likely to forget about food you have, improperly store your food, and buy more than you can eat before it goes bad. How did we get here? Software helping businesses manage waste in the smartest way possible. Food waste occurs from farm to the plate in the US, with separate research released this week showing that American supermarkets are failing to address the issue. Biodiversity loss. Food waste is the number one material in America’s landfills, accounting for 21.9 percent of all municipal solid waste (MSW). Restaurants want to have enough food to serve their customers, so they overbuy and throw out what goes bad. Food “waste” refers to food that is fit for consumption but consciously discarded at the retail or consumption phases. Seafood faces a similar fate, with 11 percent lost during production, 5 percent lost during processing and packaging, 9.5 percent lost at the distribution and retail level, and a further 33 percent lost at the consumer level. 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