How much food are we wasting?
Every year in the United States, almost 40% of all food produced goes uneaten. 95% of that goes straight into landfills. This includes millions of tons of preventable wasted food that was served but not eaten, spoiled food, unharvested crops, and “ugly food”. Wasted food is excessive, expensive, and environmentally harmful. Food waste costs our nation $166 billion every year which amounts to $1,500 a year for a family of four! We are feeding our landfills almost as much as we feed ourselves while 1 in 8 Americans are food-insecure, which means they don’t have consistent access to enough food to meet their basic needs.
Environmental impacts of food waste
When food is wasted, all of the resources used to produce that food is also wasted.
8% of US agricultural land, which is equal to the area of Pennsylvania, is used to produce the food that gets wasted! 150 of the United State’s largest cities take up less land than wasted food uses.
25% of all freshwater in the US is used to produce food that is thrown away!
Food waste also has a carbon footprint– Most uneaten food goes to the landfills where it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 24 times more environmentally harmful than CO2!
Our nation’s food waste produces more greenhouse gas emissions than every country on Earth, except for China and the United States!
What does food waste look like?
“Imagine walking out of a grocery store with four bags of groceries, dropping one in the parking lot, and not bothering to pick it up. That’s essentially what we’re doing in our homes today.“
– Dana Gunders, Natural Resources Defense Council
Fight Food Waste!
These resources can help you reduce your food waste at home!
Sign Up for the Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge!
The purpose of the Food: Too Good to Waste challenge is to keep good food from going to waste! The challenge will help you figure out how much food (and money) you are throwing out. You’ll learn easy ways to save time and money, and keep valuable resources from going to waste!
The challenge takes less than 10 minutes a week for 5 weeks beginning in February. You will collect and weigh the edible food that you throw out each week. After the first week, you will be provided tools and strategies to reduce your food waste. Complete the challenge, and you will receive a free food waste reduction kit and more TBA!
Meet-up dates for the challenge-
New York Mills in-person kickoff – February 1st @ 10:30am
New York Mills end of challenge celebration- March 7th @ 10:30am
Perham in-person kickoff – February 1st @ 1:30pm
Perham end of challenge celebration- March 7th @ 1:30pm
Fergus Falls in-person kickoff – February 3rd @ 5:30pm
Fergus Falls end of challenge celebration- March 9th @ 5:30pm
Pelican Rapids in-person kickoff – February 6th @ 5pm
Pelican Rapids end of challenge celebration- March 12th @ 5pm
Come to a free screening of the 2017 documentary “Wasted! A Story of Food Waste” at your local library!
Watch the trailer HERE