According to research led by agricultural economics professor Edward Jaenicke of Penn State University, the average American household wastes nearly a third of its food. The value of that waste is estimated at $240 billion annually. When divided among the 128.6 million American households, that’s an average of $1,866 being wasted per household on a yearly basis. Study Finds reports:
Jaenicke says all that wasted food has far-reaching consequences, and negatively impacts overall American health, food marketing, climate change, and food security.
“Our findings are consistent with previous studies, which have shown that 30% to 40% of the total food supply in the United States goes uneaten — and that means that resources used to produce the uneaten food, including land, energy, water and labor, are wasted as well,” Jaenicke says in a university release. “But this study is the first to identify and analyze the level of food waste for individual households, which has been nearly impossible to estimate because comprehensive, current data on uneaten food at the household level do not exist.”