T130: Trashed Food

A blog from the writers in Ithaca (home of my alma mater) is called Groovy Green. My theme of trash comes up in their piece today on food waste where they ask and answer:

How much food does the average American family waste in edible food each month?

122 lbs.

That’s how much enters the waste stream each month from the average American home (family of four). Ridiculous, sad, and incredible at the same time, isn’t it? A study conducted in 1995 estimated that 96.4 billion pounds of edible food was wasted each year — not to mention all of that probably went straight into the landfill. Imagine the recycled compost that could be generated from that!

The fascinating graphical representation of our monthly waste, as created by the NY Times, is shown below. Click on it to be taken to a much higher res, readable version.


lavonne said...

Hi Kate,

I was shocked by this article too but when I looked at the specifics of the graph, it didn't make sense. No family I know of throws out 22 pounds of milk per month. I read further into the article, and it turns out that they're counting all the food wasted by restaurants and supermarkets too. Which is fine, but I think the graph and slant of the article are misleading.

katecontinued said...

But even more frightening is the fact that the information is already 11 years old. According to Wasted Food blogger J. Bloom, the revised figures won't be out until 2009.

I worked in a grocery store for a few months a couple of years ago. The waste is obsene. And my own park dumpster fills completely in a day with plastic bags I know are filled with food.

You may be absolutely correct on the slant of this article, but I fear the reality may be even worse.

My internet connection is a mess today. So, my lack of response should be blamed (today anyway) on Cox Communications.