Each year between 30-40% of the food in the United States is wasted. This large number is a big problem, with surprising impact. Wasted food can end up in landfills, where it produces methane, a greenhouse gas. The resources that were used to cultivate this wasted food are also wasted, including water, labor, processing, packaging, transportation and storage. Food waste is also a moral concern, especially in a country where up to 42 million people suffer from food insecurity.
Nearly 31% of food wasted comes from consumers and retailers. Consumers generally waste food simply by buying too much and throwing it away. The retail industry includes grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, catering, and other businesses that sell or supply food. They waste food in a variety of ways, from over-ordering to eliminating products that don’t look perfect, even though it’s safe to eat.
Shelf motor analyzed data from the most recent Environmental Protection Agency report Food wasted report to better understand where this retail food waste ends up. The EPA’s data on wasted food was compiled from an extensive literature review of numerous academic studies, government reports, and surveys. Together these sources were used to create an estimate of how much food waste came from the retail sector and what happened to them after being thrown out. Shelf Engine has ranked the most common destinations for retail food waste, some of which may come as a surprise.
Although a substantial percentage of this food waste is used for beneficial purposes to feed animals, grow crops or create energy, the majority still ends up in landfills, where nutrients are unable to reabsorb into the body. ground. Instead, food waste rots and produces methane, which is responsible for 20% of global warming. Read on to learn more about where food waste actually goes.