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10 Things You Didn't Know About Food Waste
  1. Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. 1.4 billion hectares of land—28% of the world’s agricultural area—is used annually to produce food that is lost or wasted.
  3. Knowing that their contracts with supermarkets require near-perfect-looking fruit, farmers often overproduce in order to meet expectations, wasting what they don’t sell.
  4. Bread is one of the most commonly wasted foods. Of the bread that makes it to U.S. markets each year, 68% is consumed, while 20% is wasted in the kitchen, and the remaining 12% is wasted in the store.
  5. Roughly 50% of all produce in the United States is thrown away—some 60 million tons (or $160 billion) worth of produce annually.
  6. Food production in the United States uses 10% of the total energy budget, 50% of all land and 80% of all fresh water consumed. Consider how much energy, land, and water we are using on foods being wasted.
  7. The U.S. EPA says about 25% of our waste is organic material that can be composted. In fact, Americans throw away an average of 1.3 pounds of food scraps daily—about 13% of our solid waste.
  8. Food waste is responsible for around 7–10% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.
  9. Almost 1 billion people are hungry worldwide. On the other hand, around 1.5 billion people in the whole world are overweight and 400 million are obese.
  10. Maine has a goal of reaching a 50% recycling rate by 2021 and food waste can account for more than a quarter of our waste. You can help!


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