1 in 4 Calories Produced in America Go to Waste

food waste apple

3 billion pounds of produce is thrown away every year—just in California. Another 20 million pounds of food is left in commercial fields across America to rot after the harvest (usually because it’s not profitable for big agriculture to clean up after themselves).

All told, 1 in 4 calories produced in America are never eaten. In 2017, total food industry sales in the U.S. was $2.1 trillion. If you distribute the food waste equally across the entire industry, it would amount to over $500 billion, nearly as much as the U.S. spends on its military. And since the U.S. uses 41% of its land for agriculture, that makes 10% of the country’s agricultural land a waste. For reference, 10% is just larger than the state of Texas.

Want more from the food waste economy? Read the Sentient Media exclusive here.

Your Five-A-Day

  1. 🥑 Kroger just doubled the shelf life of its avocados. Their new partner Apeel grows avocados with thicker peels to reduce water loss and oxidation—the primary drivers of spoilage and then food waste. [MarketWatch]
  2. 🚮 By 2030, total global food losses will surpass $1.5 trillion. The world already produces 1.5 times the amount of food needed to feed everyone on Earth, but throws out about a third of it while 48 million people go hungry. [Consultancy.uk]
  3. 👍 Blue Apron reduced its food waste by 75% last year. Meanwhile, Amazon wants to be in the top five grocers by 2025, but they have no visible plan in place to handle the food waste headache that comes with an on-demand grocery service. [Waste360]
  4. 🔍 25% of meat samples claiming to one animal contained DNA from another animal. Many contained DNA from up to four different animals and some didn’t even contain the meat advertised on the label. [BBC]
  5. 🤓 Do you know how much your food waste costs? Check out this handy food waste calculator. [It’s Fresh!]