According to Natural Resources Defense Council, up to 40 percent of the nation’s food goes uneaten, including about 60 million tons of produce worth about $160 billion. “Imagine walking out of the grocery store with five bags, dropping two in the parking lot, and not bothering to pick them up,” NRDC senior scientist Dana Gunders testified before Congress this spring. “That is essentially what is happening across the country today.”
In the past year, Krepcho’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida rescued 64 million pounds of food from farmers, manufacturers and retailers that otherwise would have gone to the landfill. The bounty included packaged goods nearing their “best by” dates, meat and dairy approaching expiration and fresh fruits and vegetables that didn’t meet many Americans’ standards for cosmetic appeal.
Wasted food means wasting the water used to grow it. And its fertilization, production, transportation and eventual decay add to pollution and waste fossil fuels.