FILED IN: Social Issues

Report: 30 to 50 percent of food goes in the trash

Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr

You may want to think twice before tossing food from your fridge instead of subjecting yourself to leftovers.

A new report presented at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago this week estimates that somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of the world’s food production goes into the garbage.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, which prepared the report, also says that Americans toss almost 400 pounds of food a year on average into the trash. Reuters spoke with one mom in South Berwick, Maine, who said while she loads up on produce during her shopping trips, her family doesn’t eat it.

“We forget we have all these fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Esther Gove. “And at the end of the week we have to throw them away.”

Dana Gunders, a sustainable agriculture specialist for the NRDC, said at the summit that food waste was not only about grocery budgets, but that it also taxes agricultural resources by needlessly using water, energy and chemicals.

“No matter how sustainable the farming is, if the food’s not getting eaten, it’s not sustainable,” Gunders said.

Gove told Reuters she’s taking steps to cut down on her family’s food waste, such as buying frozen fruit and freezing fresh fruit and meats, and not over-serving her children at meals by cutting their portion sizes.

Other news from the summit include bad news for beef lovers — due to small cattle herds, the price of beef at the supermarket is going to spike even higher this summer, making those hamburgers and steaks for the grill more expensive.