Food Waste & the People

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The U.S. wastes more food than all other countries in the world. [1]

In the U.S. alone, nearly 30-40 percent of food is wasted while 15 percent of U.S. households are food insecure. [2]

Reducing food waste would decrease the need to raise food production by 60 percent in order to meet the 2050 population demand. [3] 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025 ask all countries to work together to prevent all forms of malnutrition by 2030 and put an end to hunger. [3]

 

Food Waste & the Environment

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 Food waste makes up a large proportion of landfills in the U.S., contributing to 14 percent of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. [4]

Annually in the U.S., 25 percent of all freshwater goes into the production and distribution of food that never reaches a plate. [4]

If food waste were a country, it would place third in greenhouse gas emissions after the U.S. and China. [5]

Uneaten food represents almost 30 percent of the world’s agricultural land. [6]

Food waste contributes to biodiversity loss due to the negative affects created from monocropping into new agriculture lands. [6] 

 

 

Food Waste & the Economy

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Compounding the USD 1 trillion of economic costs per year from food waste globally, the social costs from preventative health care to government subsidies are close to USD 900 billion, and the environmental costs are close to USD 700 billion. [7]

It costs the US an estimated $394 billion yearly, using a calculated social cost of carbon, to fix the damages associated with the release of 3.5 Gt CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions. [7]

The economic cost associated with the loss of biodiversity, pollination, nitrate & phosphorus eutrophication, and pesticide use is USD 32 billion annually. [7]

Food that is never eaten uses 10 percent of the US energy budget. [8]