Freshkills Park Blog

Scary math about food waste

UK website Next Generation Food has produced a clear information graphic about food waste that puts forth some staggering statistics:

  • A report in Plos One at the end of 2009 found that per capita food waste in the US is 50 percent greater than in 1974, now equivalent to 1400 calories per person per day.  That totals 120 trillion calories anually.
  • The EPA estimates that about 31 million tons of wasted food is thrown into landfills daily in the US.  That is 40% of the country’s food supply.
  • Each ton of food waste produces 4.2 tons of CO2 in addition to producing a large volume of methane, which is 25 times as harmful a greenhouse gas as CO2.

There are some unaddressed issues to consider in the graphic: contributing volumes of rotting produce and indigestible things like peels and roots, the idea of ‘feeding 200 billion people annually’ with our volume of food waste (to and from what level of nutrition?).  But at the very least, it puts forth a powerful reminder to compost food scraps whenever possible–it might not be a wholesale remedy, but it seems like a start.

(via Treehugger)

March 16, 2010 - Posted by | FKP | ,


  1. […] developing country family (my calculations). Freshkills Park Blog has more scary food waste stats here. They come from this report, originally posted on […]

    Pingback by 1400 calories « everydaytrash | March 17, 2010 | Reply

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    Pingback by The Big Food Wasters | Kimberley van Meel | April 28, 2011 | Reply

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