Food Waste Facts Guaranteed To Make You Change NOW


Sometimes we tend to forget that the little things we do contribute to food waste on a larger scale.  These food waste facts are guaranteed to make you stop wasting food right now!

#1 World Food Wastage

A third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted—that is an estimated 1.3 billion tons!

World Food Wastage

#2 Rich Countries’ Food Wastage

Each year, rich countries’ consumers waste 222 million tons of food.  That is close to the net food production of sub-Saharan Africa, which is 230 million tons.

Tristram Stuart a campaigner, working to help improve the environmental and social impact of food production. His latest international prize-winning book, Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal (Penguin, 2009), revealed that Western countries waste up to half of their food,  Tristram won the international environmental award, The Sophie Prize, for his fight against food waste. Seen here with food waste collected by Bio Collectors who provide low cost food waste collection from business premises before processing it  into agricultural fertiliser - offering a refreshing alternative to land fill. London, England. UK 12/09/2011 © COPYRIGHT PHOTO BY MURDO MACLEOD All Rights Reserved Tel + 44 131 669 9659 Mobile +44 7831 504 531 Email: STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY sgealbadh (press button below or see details at  No syndication, no redistribution, Murdo Macleods repro fees apply.

#3 The Cost of Food Loss

Food loss costs a U.S. family with 4 members at least USD 589.76 each year.

The Cost of Food Loss

#4 Food Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Each ton of food that you waste creates 3.8 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

#5 Food Waste in U.S. Restaurants

A U.S. restaurant can produce an estimated 25,000 to 75,000 pounds of food waste each year.

Food Waste in U.S. Restaurants

#6 Food Loss and Hunger

A researcher found that a quarter of the food we waste can provide 3 meals each day for 43 million people.  This can lift many people out of hunger.

Food Loss and Hunger

#7 Fresh Produce Waste

More than 6 billion pounds of fresh produce are left unsold or unharvested every year.

Fresh Produce Waste

#8 Dining Out and Food Waste

Diners leave, on average, 17% of their meals uneaten and only 55% of those leftovers are not taken home.

Dining Out and Food Waste

#9 Environmental Effects

If everyone just stopped wasting food that should have been eaten, this is equal to removing 1 in 4 cars out of the road.

Environmental Effects

#10 Water Wasted

The irrigation water used worldwide to grow food that is lost is sufficient for the local needs of 9 billion people (around 200 liters per person each day).  This is the number of people expected on earth by 2050.

Water Wasted

#11 Food Waste for Pigs

Two to five hundred times more carbon dioxide can be saved by feeding pigs food waste rather than bringing it in for anaerobic digestion.  Based on European laws, feeding pigs food waste is banned.  By contrast, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan require pigs to be fed some food waste.

Food Waste for Pigs

#12 Supermarket Fruits and Vegetables

20% to 40% of fruits and vegetables from the U.K. were rejected before they reach the shelves.  This is because the supermarkets have extremely stringent cosmetic requirements.

Supermarket Fruits and Vegetables

#13 The Cost of Food Waste in the U.S.

In the United States, the cost of food waste is USD 165 billion each year, with more than USD 40 billion coming from household waste alone.  Out of this, USD 750 million each year is spent just to dispose of the food we throw away in the trash.

The Cost of Food Waste in the U.S.

#14 The U.K.’s Grain Waste

U.K. households that throw away bread and other cereal products is enough to bring 30 million of the world’s hungry out of malnourishment.

Hands holding wheat

#15 A U.S. Household’s Food Waste

An average American would throw out 40% of fresh fish, 23% of eggs, and 20% of milk.  Sometimes this is because of super deals, like “Buy One, Get One Free” or conservative “use-by” dates.  The extreme cheapskates will have a thing or two to tell these people (for extreme tips from the extreme cheapskates, click No Money? No Problem! Tips From The Extreme Cheapskates).

A U.S. Household's Food Waste