The USDA released their report on how much food is lost at retail and consumer levels last week. In it, it is estimated that 133 billion pounds of the total 430 billion pounds of food in the total available American food supply went uneaten. This includes loss from mold, cooking loss, inadequate climate control, or simply being discarded. The total lost food is valued at approximately $161.6 billion.
The three food groups that represented the largest loss were Meat, Poultry, and Fish (30 percent); Vegetables (19 percent); and Dairy (17 percent). The study also concluded that the North American food system continues to be an inversion of that in the developing world, where most food loss occurs at the point of production, rather than consumption. Wonderful advances in food production efficiency seem to be going to waste – literally.
The full report can be found here.