Despite the fact that Americans have loosened their belts to accommodate bigger portions of food, a lot of food still gets left on the plate or to go bad in the refrigerator. A recent survey from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggests that Americans are not aware of just how much they waste and the impact it has on their wallets -- $161.6 billion annually, $371 per capita. The environment is also adversely affected by growing food unnecessarily. Approximately 35% of fresh water, 31% of cropland, and 30% of fertilizer used in the United States was used to grow food that was thrown out.
An astounding 31% to 40% of the food supply in the United States gets thrown out. Further, research findings from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggest that nearly 75% of Americans think that they waste less food than the national average.
As their top reasons for throwing out food, consumers surveyed cited safety concerns and a desire to eat the freshest food. When measured by weight, the top foods wasted are, not surprisingly, perishables--fruits and vegetables.