These 10 Facts About Waste Might Change Your Perspective on Food

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“Clean your plate! There are starving kids in Africa, you know!”

If this was a saying that colored your childhood dinners (the ones where you started down at a bowl of creamed corn and felt your stomach turn), well…let’s just say you’re not alone. While it may seem emotionally manipulative, its generally recognized that wasting food isn’t great – while it may not help anyone in Africa, it certainly isn’t good for the environment or your wallets. But while generations before ours were most concerned about wasting their money, now people are starting to recognize the full negative impact food waste has on the world.

Below are 10 facts that might have you seeing things differently in your own home, if you aren’t already. And if you feel so compelled, there are plenty of pretty cheap home composting services that will pick up your food waste for like $20-30 a month. Maybe worth a look…

#10. 42 million Americans live without daily access to nutritious foods.

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This includes 13 million children and 5.4 million seniors.

#9. It takes 53 gallons of clean water to produce a single egg.

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That’s enough to fill a bathtub.

#8. Even though 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry on a daily basis, we toss out 40% of our food supply.

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It’s also important to remember that wasting food means wasting resources like water, animal feed, fuel, and carbon emissions.

#7. The food we waste in America could provide a full, daily diet to 274 million people.

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They could all have 2000 calories each.

#6. Growing nuts also takes a good amount of water.

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1929 gallons per pound for almonds and 1704 gallons per pound of cashew – and a lot of nuts come from California, which has been in various states of drought for the paste decade.

#5. The average American household throws away around $2200 in food waste every year.

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I don’t know about you, but most of mine is floating around in vegetable goo in the bottom of one of my crisper drawers.

#4. Our waste is growing every year.

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It has increased by 204% since 1960.

#3. Tossing out two 1/2 pound burgers is the same as wasting 1847 gallons of water.

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It’s also equivalent to wasting 12 pounds of grain, or 36 loaves of bread.

#2. The U.S. wastes about $165 billion worth of edible goods annually.

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That’s 28x the EPA’s yearly budget.

#1. Americans throw away 52% of our fresh produce.

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That’s enough dietary fiber to supply 74 million women and 48 million men each year – and it’s estimated that the average American has a fiber deficiency.

Think twice, dump once!