Each year in the United States, we leave between 125 and 160 billion pounds of food uneaten, amounting to up to 40 percent of our food supply. This waste occurs throughout the food system supply chain. Food is lost on farms, during processing, distribution, and storage, in retail stores and food service operations, and finally, in households.
That food waste has huge consequences for the environment, and for business. The production of uneaten food generates as much CO2 emissions as 212 million cars, and rotting food sent to landfills releases methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The costs to business are exorbitant, too. It is estimated that American consumers, businesses, and farms spend $218 billion a year, or 1.3 percent of GDP, growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten.
Companies that invest in reducing food waste stand to gain much. There is a 14-fold ROI for one out of every two businesses investing in food loss and waste reduction.
Here are two guides for tackling food waste: