Americans waste $165 billion worth of food each year, study says

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 22 2012 10:12 a.m. MDT

Approximately 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted, as about $165 billion in uneaten food is thrown out every year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Michael De Groote, Deseret News

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Americans throw away almost every other piece of food, according to a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Approximately 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted, as about $165 billion in uneaten food is thrown out every year, according to the NRDC. That's a 50 percent jump since the 1970s.

"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, NRDC project scientist with the food and agriculture program. "With the price of food continuing to grow, and drought jeopardizing farmers nationwide, now is the time to embrace all the tremendous untapped opportunities to get more out of our food system. We can do better."

Grocery stores and other sellers throw away about $15 billion worth of fruits and vegetables every year, according to the study. Fresh produce is thrown away more than any other food product. But consumers waste a great deal of food, as the majority of food wasted comes from restaurants and household kitchens, according to the NRDC.

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