Looking at Food Waste

man-1188012_640The United States can say they lead the world in yet another category, overal food waste. Per capita food waste has been on the rise by over 50 percent pet year since 1974, reaching a whopping 1400 calories per person per day, or an amazing 150 trillion calories per year! The waste alone accounts for over 400 million barrels of oil per year, a staggering environmental issue in itself.

A study put out by Plos One at the end of the year, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, has found the an amazing 40% of all food produced in the US is thrown out.  Thats an equivalent of about a big mac and a large coke per person.

Our waste of food is staggering. Behind paper and yard waste, food waste accounts for 12.7 of all municipal wastye generated in the US. Most of this was food scraps. Less than 3 percent of that 32 million tonnes was recycled. The rest, about 31 million tonnes, was thrown away in landfills or incinerators, according to the EPA .

The UK isn’t far behind, each year 8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away. Of this amount, the government anti-waste arm Wrap estimates 5 million tonnes to be edible. The average family in Britian with family is say to waste almost 680GBP per year. That is a significant savings for poorer families.

Retail Active a business intelligence company in the UK, has found in a new survey that fruit salad and vegetables are the most wasted items per week. Bananas being the most wasted item, followed closely by Milk. People that live in cities are also generally the most wasteful, with the worst of them being men aged 25-35. A family of four throws away an average of 15GBP per month, however the least wasteful are the elderly at just 3.36GBP a month.

Fresh Meat and uneaten prepared food was also very high on the list. Food that has been packaged was the least wasted.

Retail avtive used a sample of 2000 people to find the above stats. Amazinly 3 quarters of the people polled said they did not believe their food waste had consequences for the environment. 46 percent of respondants said food was was good because it keeps production moving. And over 77 percent said they did not consider the impact on the global environment when buying food.

The main culprits of food waste were identified as busy lifestyles, bad habits, laziness, and too large of a portion on ready to eat prepared food.