As with biofuels, it’s reassuring that public policy attention is also turning to unnecessary waste of food.
Rightly so, as the wastage is colossal. New research from the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that 40% of all food produced in the United States goes to waste.
A typical household of four throws away $2,275 of food each year and the overall total wastage is valued at an almost unimaginable $165 billion. The volume has increased by 50% since the 1970s.
It’s easy to understand why. Reasons include relatively low prices and increased portion sizes. Recommended solutions include less wasteful shopping habits and clearer date labelling.
Regrettably, 40% wastage is not uncommon elsewhere, including in developing countries where the greater problem is collection and processing rather than distribution and consumption.