Study: 30 to 50 percent of food is wasted

With millions of starving people all over the world, it may be hard to believe how much food goes to waste each and every day. New numbers out show that 30 to 50 percent of food produced in the world goes uneaten and ends up in landfills.

Experts at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago this week unveiled their findings about how much food goes to waste all over the world.  For example, the average American throws out about 33 pounds of food each month, or about $40, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.  That equals to about 400 pounds of food per year. 

Estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say about 33 million tons of food ends up in landfills and incinerators.

Waste doesn't only happen in kitchen

And wasting food goes well beyond the kitchen.  The agriculture industry uses the most water and energy and emits a lot of greenhouse gases during production, distribution and landfill decay.  Experts say if we cut down on waste, we can ease the stress on the environment.  

There have been some ideas discussed about how to fix the problem.  One idea is to clarify the "sell by" and "use by" dates to keep people from throwing food in the garbage too soon.  Other ideas include giving food to soup kitchens and food pantries and leftovers to use as animal feed.

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