Food waste is exactly what it sounds like: any food substance that is discarded. It can be raw or cooked, solid or liquid. It’s generated by the processing, handling, storage, sale, preparation, cooking and serving of foods; so it can happen anywhere along the supply chain, from the farm to the manufacturer to the retailer or restaurant, and in our homes or at work.
In 2010 alone, the FWRA estimates that around 60 million tons of food waste was generated in the U.S., of which nearly 40 million tons went to landfill. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more food reaches landfills than other type of municipal solid waste. It is estimated that 25-40 percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in the United States will never be consumed.
The opportunity and the need to reduce food waste have never been greater. Reducing food waste in the U.S. can deliver significant environmental, social and economic benefits.