By now, you’ve probably read tons of news talking about how much food is wasted in good ol’ America. How could those other jerks throw away perfectly good food, right? They must be truly AWFUL people.
But here’s the thing: You really shouldn’t feel so smug. You know that container of wilted salad greens in the back of your fridge and those squishy potatoes you forgot about? Yup, you’re part of the problem, too.
Despite the fact that as much as 40 percent of American food goes uneaten—primarily from homes, stores, and restaurants, and at a cost of more than $160 billion a year—”Americans perceive themselves as wasting little,” said study leader and director of the Food System Sustainability & Public Health Program at CLF, Roni Neff in a statement. “But in reality, we are wasting substantial quantities.” The average American family wastes between $1,365 to $2,275 worth of food and beverages annually. …
More than a third of the survey’s [1,101] respondents claimed they don’t throw away food at all or very little. The top reasons listed for wanting to throw out less food were to save money and set a positive example for children.
What reason came in dead last for reducing food waste? You guessed it: environmental concerns! And that’s a huge bummer. Teaching our kiddos good eating habits is incredibly important — but so is understanding the environmental impacts of food production.
Thankfully, there is some good news from the report: Nearly 90 percent of respondents were interested in reducing food waste at home. And although there are some awesome, forward-thinking ideas out there to address our wasteful habits, it’s also reassuring to know that most of us want to do something about the problem.