In the U.S., almost half of our food — 40 percent of what we grow — ends up in the garbage.

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Today’s modern world is overflowing with the availability of food. There’s apparently so much of it, that lots get thrown out. We sure are spoiled in this regard (pun intended).

Avoidable Food Waste is made up of food items that could have been eaten if they had been managed or stored better.

The food may not have been fit for consumption at the time of disposal because it had gone moldy or had been spoiled or it may have been thrown away because it was no longer wanted.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a British nonprofit, conducted a detailed analysis of avoidable household food waste in the U.K.

This list is likely very similar to what we in the U.S. waste too…

The following is a list of the top 20 types of avoidable food waste:


Top 20 Foods Thrown In The Garbage

1. Potatoes (359,000 tons)
2. Bread slices (328,000 tons)
3. Apples (190,000 tons)
4. Meat or Fish Mixed Meals (161,000 tons)
5. World breads (e.g. naan, tortilla) (102,000 tons)
6. Vegetable mixed meals (96,000 tons)
7. Pasta mixed meals (87,000 tons)
8. Bread rolls/baguettes (86,000 tons)
9. Rice mixed meals (85,000 tons)
10. Mixed meals (85,000 tons)
11. Bananas (84,000 tons)
12. Bread Loaves (75,000 tons)
13. Yogurts/Yogurt Drinks (67,000 tons)
14. Sandwiches (63,000 tons)
15. Cakes (62,000 tons)
16. Lettuces (61,000 tons)
17. Tomatoes (61,000 tons)
18. Cabbages (56,000 tons)
19. Cooked rice (55,000 tons)
20. Mixed vegetables (53,000 tons)

The End of Food

From the garden (or store) to the table – food being a preparedness resource – should not be wasted if we can help it. We should develop habits that enable us to more efficiently utilize and consume what we have.

This may include,

– Better food preservation habits
– Shelf life management, food storage rotation
– Portion control, estimation of quantities while preparing meals
– Willingness to eat left-overs before cooking up a new meal

Be aware of “Use-by” and “Sell-by” dates.

I generally found this data to be interesting, although not surprising that so much food gets thrown out. One wonders what would happen if and when there are real food shortages.

How many of you notice food getting thrown out?

How often have I seen someone buy food for their kids (for example) and after eating a bite or two the rest is tossed out because they don’t like it. I’ve seen that a lot.

I have known people that simply will not eat ‘leftovers’. They’ll toss it in the trash instead.

What are your examples of food waste that you’ve witnessed?

sources: report
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