Huffpost Food

Food Waste Costs Americans Around $165 Billion Annually (VIDEO)

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The average American family throws away around $2,200 in food each year.
The average American family throws away around $2,200 in food each year.

Americans throw away approximately $165 billion worth of food each year, according to the author of a report that analyzed food waste in the U.S.

During an interview with HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd, National Resource Defense Council Project Scientist Dana Gunders said the amount of food Americans waste has increased over 50 percent in the last 40 years.

"It's costing Americans around $165 billion a year that they're spending on food they're not eating, and for the average American family that can be up to $2,200 per household," Gunders told HuffPost Live.

Meanwhile, she explained, our portion sizes have increased tremendously.

"The average cookie, for example, has tripled in size since the mid-80s," she said.

Gunders's NRDC report on food waste is titled "Waste: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent Of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill."

Gawain Kripke, a research and policy director for Oxfam America, also joined Gunders in the HuffPost Live discussion. Kripke said that to individuals elsewhere in the world, the amount of food Americans are throwing away looks "obscene."

"Food markets are ultimately linked," Kripke said. "So the price of corn in the United States has a big impact on the price of corn in Africa, for example. So if we're wasting food here, it means we're wasting a global resource."

"When we're wasting food," Kripke said, "it means we're basically taking a resource that can be used to keep other people alive and throwing it away."

 
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