Americans have super-sized food portions to the point of expanding waists and increasing waste. While producing food from farm to fork uses half of our land and 80 percent of our freshwater, 40 percent of that nourishment is wasted. The Natural Resources Defense Council in 2012 concluded we throw out more than 20 pounds of food per person per month, with a value of $165 billion each year.
Meanwhile, 21 percent of Americans know someone who doesn't have enough to eat, according to a Harris Poll released this month. The council says that by reducing food waste by just 15 percent, we could feed more than 25 million Americans every year.
Of the 2,300 American adults polled, most see the problem of hunger in the United States as either serious (53 percent) or very serious (22 percent). In the survey, 86 percent feel that feeding hungry families in the United States should be solved before America tackles the problem on a global level (although 85 percent want that addressed, too. And 78 percent say that wasting food is immoral.
The council says the average American consumer wastes 50 percent more food than in the 1970s –- and ten times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia. Reducing waste to combat hunger is an issue that will be of growing concern in the years to come. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says that food production must increase by 70 percent by 2050 to feed an expected global population of some 9.1 billion.