Entries in Food Waste (3)


US Families Waste 20 Pounds of Food Each Month, Study Claims

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- On average, families in the United States throw away 20 pounds of food each month, an amount worth approximately $2,000 annually for a family of four.

John Floros, the dean of the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, found in a new study that in the United States, nearly four out of every 10 pounds of food produced annually is tossed in the trash. That figure includes food thrown away by members of households, restaurants, supermarkets, and other food-service providers.

Floros, who presented his study at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, included uneaten and spoiled food, as well as food thrown away after being prepared.

According to scientists, food decomposition releases methane gas into the air. Methane gas is a significantly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and fosters global warming.

Floros' study comes to the conclusion that a reduction in food waste could solve global challenges by "providing more food to a growing population, reducing greenhouse gases, and reducing the amount of freshwater needed to grow crops."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Americans Toss $165 Billion Worth of Food in the Trash Annually

Dorling Kindersley RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans obviously aren’t listening to mom.  Otherwise, they’d be finishing everything on their dinner plates rather than wasting up to 40 percent of the nation’s food supply annually.

The shocking statistics from the Natural Resources Defense Council reveal that each member of an average family of four leaves 20 pounds of food untouched per month, adding up to a total $2,275 in squandered grub per year.

That means $165 billion of food gets tossed in the trash, which contributes to overflowing landfills where food is easily the top portion of solid waste.

This problem is really an American phenomenon as people in this country leave behind 10 times more uneaten meals than Southeast Asians.  

Europeans have begun programs to educate people about needlessly wasted food.  However, nothing like that is happening in the U.S. even in the face of record droughts that will likely push up prices at the supermarket before the end of the year.

Another shocker from the Natural Resources Defense Council is that $15 billion of produce is left unsold annually as much as the government tries to emphasize better nutrition to reduce Americans’ expanding waistlines.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Could Save Millions of Barrels of Oil By Cutting Food Waste

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If Americans cut back on wasting food, the country could save the energy equivalent of about 350 million barrels of oil annually.  According to Science Daily, in a study reported in the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology, scientists discovered the amount of oil needed to produce, ready and distribute a year's worth of food in the U.S. is around 1.4 billion barrels.  Of this total energy consumption, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans waste close to 27 percent of their food.

The scientists see this waste as an unrecognized opportunity to save energy and fight against global warming.  Based on their analysis of wasted food and the energy used to prepare the food for consumption, the country wasted about 350 million barrels of oil in 2007.  That amounts to about two percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S. per year.

"Consequently, the energy embedded in wasted food represents a substantial target for decreasing energy consumption in the U.S.," the article notes. "The wasted energy calculated here is a conservative estimate both because the food waste data are incomplete and outdated and the energy consumption data for food service and sales are incomplete."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio