A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that around 40% of US food is wasted, which is bad but doesn't surprise me too much. Here are some factoids about it:
*The amount of food wasted is the equivalent of 20 pounds per person per month;
*The annual dollar value lost is $165 billion;
*Wasted food rotting in landfills accounts for about 25% of US methane emissions; and
*Reducing waste by 15% would be enough to feed 25 million people.
Waste occurs at every step of the way, from production to post harvest handling and storage to processing and packaging to distribution to consumption, and different food products experience different degrees of waste along the way. However, it most waste occurs in the consumption stage, which includes in home and out of home use.
The report includes plenty of recommendations to reduce waste at every stage.
(It occurs to me, however, that there'd be a lot less wastage if people had chickens and such. Not to mention composting. And let's not forget actually eating it.)
If you don't want to read the whole report, here's the CNN story.