Skip to main content

Wasted Food Facts

Food is wasted when we buy more than we need, store it incorrectly, throw away leftovers and cook too much. When we throw away food, we also waste all the water and energy used to produce, package and transport food from the farm to our plates. This waste creates significant environmental impacts and is costly to family budgets.

U.S. Wasted Food Facts:

  • 40% of all food in the United States is wasted
  • 25% of all freshwater we consume goes to produce food we never eat
  • 4% of the oil we consume goes to produce food we never eat
  • $166 billion (retail value of preventable waste) is spent on the food we never eat
  • 135 million tons of GHG emissions are created by the food we never eat

These numbers are for our whole food systemfarms, processors, retailers, and households.

Did you know that the average American...

...household throws out 25% of the food they purchase? of four tosses out more than $1,600 a year in wasted food?

Reducing wasted food is an easy way to trim your grocery bills and reduce your environmental footprint. It only requires small shifts in how you shop, prepare, store and serve food.


The Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20%

Check out this video with more facts about wasted food and quick tips on how to avoid it.