Study finds Americans waste 150 000 tons of food per day
News24 - Apr 19th 2018, 11:10
Recent study findings reveal Americans waste nearly 150 000 tons of food per day, amounting to about 422g per person, and fruits and vegetables are mostly what gets tossed.
The amount of land used annually to grow food that ends up in the garbage in the United States is 30 million acres or seven percent of total US cropland. Some 16 trillion litres of irrigation water gets wasted, too, said the report in the journal PLOS ONE.
Fruits and vegetables made up 39% of total food waste, followed by dairy (17%), meat (14%) and grains (12%).
Items least likely to be thrown out included salty snacks, table oils, egg dishes, candy and soft drinks.
"Higher quality diets have greater amounts of fruits and vegetables, which are being wasted in greater quantities than other food," said co-author Meredith Niles, an assistant professor at the University of Vermont.
"Eating healthy is important, and brings many benefits, but as we pursue these diets, we must think much more consciously about food waste."
The report, based on government data and surveys about food waste from 2007 to 2014, found that the amount of wasted food equals about 30% of the average daily calories consumed for every American.
The costs to the environment and to farmers are "significant", it said.
"Food waste corresponded to harvests produced with the use of 354 million kilograms of pesticide and 816 million kilograms of nitrogen fertiliser, annually."
Solutions may include teaching consumers how to better prepare and store fresh fruits and vegetables, revising "sell-by" dates, encouraging people to buy imperfect produce, and incorporating efforts to prevent food waste into government sustainability programs.
"Food waste is an issue that plays out at many different levels," said lead author Zach Conrad at the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in North Dakota.
"Looking at them holistically will become increasingly important to finding sustainable ways of meeting the needs of a growing world population."News24
Swine fever epidemic may slash China's pig herd by half
30/07/2019 - 10:52
China’s pig herd could halve by the end of 2019 from a year earlier as an epidemic of African swine fever sweeps through the world’s top pork producer, analysts at Dutch bank Rabobank forecast.
US retail sales rise as households spend more
18/07/2019 - 14:16
US retail sales increased more than expected in June, pointing to strong consumer spending, which could help to blunt some of the hit on the economy from weak business investment.
Inflation accelerates slightly in May
19/06/2019 - 11:24
Inflation accelerated slightly to 4.5% in May, giving impetus to calls for an interest cut in July.
Alibaba plans $20bn Hong Kong listing
05/06/2019 - 10:02
Alibaba is considering raising as much as $20bn through a listing in Hong Kong, people familiar with the matter say, lining up a second blockbuster deal following its 2014 record $25bn float in New York.
US jealousy sparked trade wars, says Chinese ambassador
21/05/2019 - 10:48
The US is jealous of China’s rapid economic growth and achievements in the past few years and was using the trade wars to frustrate and stall it, Lin Songtian, the Chinese ambassador to SA said.