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Food Waste: Causes, Ramifications, Solutions

Millions of tons of food are lost to waste each year.
Source: National Resources Defense Council
Food waste in the United States has grown to 40%, up from 30% in 1974.

In addition to the direct effect of denying food to those who need it, there are other problems, according to researchers at National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases who authored the study.

Costs Beyond Food
For instance food waste accounts for 25% of the freshwater used each year in the United States. It also accounts for 300 million barrels of oil. Reducing food waste by 15% could would be the equivalent of feeding 25 million people.

This channel looks not only at the causes of food waste, but gives resources that helps people and organizations cut down on the waste. It spans from what you can do in your own kitchen and diet to examinations of industry practices and policy implications.


Food Waste - Stories, Links and Resources

Food Waste
Global Resources News stories

Links for the search term: Food Waste

Infographic of Food Waste, by type of food and phase of supply chain
This database shows how food types, such as grains, fruits & vegetables and oils, go to waste before reaching human consumers.

For instance, fruits & vegetables are most likely to go to waste (44% is lost), but most of the lost occurs after the foodstuff leaves the field. But much is lost during the growing phase, unlike fishing or oil and bean production, where very little is lost during growing, or grains where lesser amounts are lost during growing. The information comes from a 2011 United Nations study.

EPA page on ways industry can reduce food waste

NRDC finds that 40% food waste contributes to broader problems
The National Research Defense Council found that the problem equates to $165 billion worth of waste a year and constitutes 25% of our freshwater usage. NRDC calculates the waste at 20 pounds of food per person per month.