An astounding 40% percent of the food grown in this country is wasted, according to the National Resources Defense Council. That adds up to more than 20 pounds per person per month, or $165 billion dollars per year.
Food waste makes up the largest component of the solid waste in landfills. Unused food in Montgomery County accounts for nearly 23% of the solid waste stream. Our wasted food also wastes the land, water, and energy that was used to produce the food itself.
Food saved by reducing losses nationwide by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year. (NRDC)
There are many reasons why food is lost all along the food supply chain. Farmers may overplant to manage weather fluctuations. They may plow their crops under because of labor shortages, or low market prices.
And farmers cull crops with blemishes so they can sell them in retail markets. Also, in the U.S. there are no standards for “sell by”, “best by” and “use by” dates. These designations are left to food manufacturers. Grocers discard foods prior to their sell by dates, even if the food is perfectly good and safe to eat.