Up to 40 percent of the food in the United States is never eaten.
Households toss limp vegetables. People are confused by food date labels. Restaurants often serve massive portions and trash leftovers. Grocery stores overstock their shelves to maintain an image of abundance. Farmers are unable to sell produce that doesn’t look perfect.
At the same time, 1 in 8 Americans struggles to put food on the table.
An enormous amount of resources and energy go into growing, processing, transporting, and eventually disposing of all that wasted food. That includes climate-wrecking greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of the food system, plus water, fertilizer, packaging, labor, and more.
Most wasted food ends up in landfills, where it generates methane, a greenhouse gas that is up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.