I'll start with the fact that 30-40% of all food produced in the United States is wasted.

That's 160 billion lbs (73 billion kg) of wasted food.

$408 billion worth of wasted food.

About 2% of the entire US GDP = wasted food.

The average American family throws away between $1300 and $2200 of food every year.

You could cover half the land mass of China with the food the US throws away each year.

Not give to people... I mean cover the entire ground.

But wait... there's more

25% of fresh water in the United States goes towards producing food that goes uneaten.

Just to be clear... the US uses 25% of fresh water produced each year SPECIFICALLY to grow food that ends up in the trash.

Here's the kicker...

21% of waste in landfills is food.

Not old refrigerators, cars, sofas or even plastic bags. Over 20% is just food that nobody ate.

And it's increasing rapidly. It's a per capita increase of 50% since 1974.

'Expiry dates' play a surprisingly large role in this, beyond common wastage.

In much of the US, there's no regulated standard for expiry dates. Every manufacturer or store makes up their own either to avoid getting sued or because it actually makes people buy more.

Expiry dates do two things:

drive urgency. You've got to buy this today.

drive consumption. You've got to buy this again. And again.

So why doesn't anyone do anything about this?

Go back to the first tweet. Food wastage costs over $400 BILLION.

To rephrase that, food companies make billions selling food they know you'll throw away.

And we're only talking about expiry-based wastage - because that's largely on companies.

The rest is on us. Buying more than we can eat. More than we need. Setting out unnecessary amounts of food. Stores produce too much each day.

It's something to think about.


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