Food Waste in America

Button-PDF-75x25 Full Report: The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States - New Study from the USDA: (Released in February 2014) “In the United States, 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices. For the first time, ERS estimated the calories associated with food loss: 141 trillion in 2010, or 1,249 calories per capita per day.”

Button-PDF-75x25 Report Summary 


Button-Website-Red-75x25 Environmental Impact of U.S. Food Waste - The United States spends about 1 billion dollars a year just to dispose of food waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food leftovers are the single-largest component of the waste stream by weight in the United States. Food waste includes uneaten food and food preparation scraps from residences or households, commercial establishments like restaurants, institutional sources like school cafeterias, and industrial sources like factory lunchrooms. Over 12 percent of the total municipal solid waste generated in American households was food scraps and less than three percent was recovered. The rest was thrown away and disposed in landfills or combusted in incinerators. The decomposition of food and other organic waste in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. Landfills are the largest human-related source of methane in the United States, accounting for 34 percent of all methane emissions.


Button-PDF-75x25Global Food Waste (International Water Management Institute) – A 2008 report on the relationship between food waste and water waste indicated that less-developed countries experience significant food losses and spoilage. In many developing countries, post-harvest losses of food grains can reach as high as 50%. Without proper storage and transportation systems, perishable food items are particularly vulnerable to spoilage and loss.


SoSA Programs - Our ministry prevents more than 30 million pounds of food going to waste each year. Society of St. Andrew food salvage programs have a positive impact on the environment by reducing landfill waste by as much as 30 million pounds a year. Instead of harming the environment, this food instead feeds hungry Americans.


See our large and growing collection of Food Waste Infographics on Pinterest