Shocking Amount of Wasted Food Should Have Moms Forcing Kids to Finish Their Dinner

foodGet out your poster board and your markers because you are going to want to take some serious, if not large and colorful notes on this topic -- food waste. Sounds boring, sounds kind of gross, but I'm here to tell you that it's a problem, my friends. Guess what percentage of the food supply in the U.S. goes uneaten?? Guess.

Oh! Then guess how much money a family of four tosses out in food each year.

You're going to be astounded. Here are the facts:


Newser broke down the L.A. Times story on food waste in America nicely, and derived that:

  • About 40% of food in the US supply chain goes uneaten.
  • A family of four tosses $2,275 worth of food each year, which translates into 20 pounds per person each month.
  • Americans waste 50% more food today than in the 1970s, and 10 times as much as people in Southeast Asia.
  • Supermarket produce aisles are bountiful at a cost: Some $15 billion in fruits and vegetables goes unsold each year.
  • Uneaten food is the single biggest component of municipal solid waste in landfills.

Gah! Forty percent of food from farm to fork ends up in a landfill? That's disheartening.

So how can you help? Well, for one thing, you can scare your kids with that handy poster you made by pointing out that if they don't clean their plates, the food is going to go to waste, and that's not fair. Just look at those stats, Junior!

If you're not into scare tactics (what are you, some sort of saint?), you could simply avoid over-portioning your family's meals. Don't make more than anyone can eat. Easier said than done, I know, but try a few times by making less than necessary and see how that pans out. If someone's still hungry after dinner, I'm sure you've got a cracker or a piece of fruit lying around.

When we're tossing out over two grand a year in food, and when our trash piles are becoming more and more overwhelmed by edibles when parts of the world go hungry, we gotta try something, right?


Do these stats surprise you?


Photo via miamism/Flickr

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