Americans Waste 141 Trillion Calories of Food a Year

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Americans Waste 141 Trillion Calories of Food a Year
See Gallery
Americans Waste 141 Trillion Calories of Food a Year

Read on to learn more about how Americans waste food.

According to NPR, wasting 141 trillion calories a day is equal to 1,249 calories per capita per day.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at the USDA's Economic Research Service were able to calculate that number through data from 2010.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Americans wasted 133 billion pounds of food in 2010, according to the research.

Image Credit: Getty Images

That food wasted in 2010 accounted for 31 percent of the food supply, which was worth roughly 161.6 billion dollars.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Twenty five billion pounds of dairy products were wasted, about 19 percent of the total food lost. Twenty five billion pounds of vegetables were wasted, also around 19 percent of total food lost. Grain products accounted for about 14 percent of the loss, or 18.5 billion pounds.

Image Credit: Getty Images

It's important to remember that when you're throwing away food, you're throwing away money and eventually contributing to the release of green house gases. Once trashed, the food goes to a landfill, where it either decomposes or is incinerated. Both of these processes emit greenhouse gas emissions.

Image Credit: Getty Images

If we could reduce the amount of wasted food, the price of food would actually go down, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Read on for several ways to help reduce food waste in your own home.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Make a Grocery List

It's a super simple suggestion, but very effective! By checking your fridge and pantry, you'll know what you actually need at the grocery store, which will help prevent buying unnecessary food.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Check Fridge Temperature

Make sure that the seals on your refrigerator are perfectly in tact, so that the temperature remains consistent. Also ensure that the temperature is cold enough, which helps to keep foods last as long as possible. According to the FDA, the refrigerator should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, while the freezer should be kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Find Ways To Use Older Produce

If the veggies start to wilt you can always toss them into a soup or even make stock. Overripe bananas are actually ideal for baking and other soft fruit works well in smoothies or fruit pies.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Pickle Foods

With common ingredients like vinegar, salt and spices, you can pickle foods for a flavorful way to make them last. Pickled foods can have great probiotic benefits and they can last for up to three years.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Freeze Food

If you're not going to finish up soup, freeze it. The same goes for bread, fruit, sauces and loads of other foods. This is an excellent way to save food for a later date. Don't forget to defrost!

Image Credit: Getty Images

Eat Leftovers

Leftover meals are perfect for lunch the next day!

Image Credit: Getty Images

Get Creative with Leftovers

Leftover tuna can work in a salad the next day. Leftover veggies can always go with an omelette or salad. There are lots of ways to enjoy leftovers in another meal.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Move Groceries Around

Place the newest foods in the back and the oldest foods up front. This is called the FIFO Method (First in, first out), which helps to make sure the oldest food gets used up first.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Add to Compost

Instead of tossing old produce, make a compost pile. Vegetable and fruit peelings make for a great compost that the garden will love!

Image Credit: Getty Images


It's no surprise that people create a lot of waste, but did you know that Americans waste 141 trillion calories worth of food each year?

The most tossed food groups are dairy products, vegetables and grains, according to the USDA. The good news is that people are starting to wise up about food waste, and there are a lot of ways to reduce it, starting with staying mindful of when food actually expires.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about food waste in the U.S.

More from Kitchen Daily:
You Can Swap Leftovers with an App?
A Stand Against Food Waste
How Long Can You Keep Leftovers?

Read Full Story

Sign up for Best Bites by AOL and receive delicious recipes delivered to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Search Recipes