According to the No Taste for Food Waste initiative, the amount of food wasted in the United States equates to more than 1,250 calories per day, per person, annually. Even FFA sponsors such as Valent USA and Land O’Lakes are involved in the initiative to waste less food. Prepare yourself to answer these common questions with information from No Taste for Food Waste.
Q: How much food is really wasted in the U.S.?
A: The average American family throws away about 25 percent of the food and beverages it purchases, which costs each family around $1,600 annually. Between 125 and 160 billion pounds of food are left uneaten in the U.S. every year – 76 billion of that is due to household waste. This averages out to 238 pounds of food waste per person, per year.
Q: How does our food waste impact the environment and the world around us?
A: Food waste is the No. 1 contributor to landfills, taking up 21 percent of all landfill content each year. Because wasted food has to break down, it’s also responsible for at least 2.6 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Q: What can the industry of agriculture do to help?
A: The land used to grow uneaten food makes up about 18 to 28 percent of total U.S. cropland (more than the entire state of New Mexico), and between 21 to 33 percent of agricultural water use is accounted for by food waste. Many farmers have cut back on food waste by using unsold produce as feed or compost in soil. Others have donated unused food or have found alternate uses for products deemed unfit for sale in a store.
The FFA #SpeakAg Dialogues are a forum for effective conversation to break through polarized opinions regarding agriculture. Visit FFA.org/FoodWaste to download a variety of #SpeakAg cards about food waste, then distribute them to start meaningful conversations. You can also visit FFA.org/FFAVideoCenter and click “#SpeakAgDialogues” to watch videos on this topic.