In November 2016, USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the formation of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions group and presented the first set of 2030 Champions—15 businesses and organizations that made a public commitment to reduce food loss and waste in their own operations in the United States by 50 percent by 2030. Companies include Ahold USA, Blue Apron, Bon Appétit Management Co., Campbell Soup Co., ConAgra Brands, Delhaize America, General Mills, Kellogg Co., PepsiCo, Sodexo, Unilever, Walmart, Wegman's Food Markets, Weis Markets and YUM! Brands.
USDA's Economic Research Service estimates the amount of food that went uneaten at the retail and consumer levels in the baseline year of 2010 represented 31 percent of the available food supply, about 133 billion pounds of food worth an estimated $161.6 billion. USDA research estimates approximately 90 billion pounds of food waste comes from consumers, worth about $370 per person every year.
The staggering amount of wasted food in the United States has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change. Keeping wholesome and nutritious food in communities and out of landfills helps communities and the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households. Reducing food waste also impacts climate change as 20 percent of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills.
In 2009, a USDA report estimated 15 percent of all U.S. households struggled to put enough food on their tables because they lacked money or other resources for food. The report also noted that one in eight U.S. households at least one person did not get enough to eat at some time during the year and normal eating patterns were disrupted.
For more information on food insecurity, download INSIDER’s Slide Show: How to Feed the World: A Complex Challenge.