40 to 50 percent of all US food ready for harvest never gets eaten

According to Jeff Harrison

A new study from the University of Arizona in Tucson indicates that 40 to 50 percent of all food ready for harvest never gets eaten.

and

On average, households waste 14 percent of their food purchases. Fifteen percent of that includes products still within their expiration date but never opened. Jones estimates an average family of four currently tosses out $590 per year, just in meat, fruits, vegetables and grain products.

and

Nationwide, he says, household food waste alone adds up to $43 billion, making it a serious economic problem.

More …

 

According to the UA News Service

Each year, the nation’s supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores toss out approximately 27 million tons of edible food worth $30 billion, says an anthropologist who studies food waste.  […]

“Some sectors, especially supermarkets and mom-and-pop restaurants, are very efficient,” Jones said. “Others don’t even have the first clue.” […]

While national fast-food chains average about nine percent in loses, he cited a small regional chain with about three dozen stores based in two nearby cities, and only one manager for each city. “Food is 40 percent of their budget, and they waste about 40 percent of it,” Jones said […]

With few exceptions, convenience stores are far and away the most wasteful with food – more than 26 percent (nearly three times the rate for fast food restaurants). […]

“They know they lose a lot, but they don’t think it represents a large share of their business,” says Jones, who calculates that food loss amounts to a two-percent hit on their revenue.

Supermarkets, in contrast, waste less than one percent of their stock. And while a trash container full of produce out back might look wasteful, one store might easily accept eight or nine full semi-trailers a day.

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For much more, see Wasted Food.

More blog entries about Sustainability.

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