The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 27 percent of all food (by weight) produced for people in the United States is either thrown away or used for a lower-value purpose, such as feeding animals.
According to a recent study, the average American household wastes 14 percent of its food purchases. But it's not just the food that is being wasted -- all of the water and energy that went into producing, packaging and transporting the discarded food also goes to waste.
Most of this food waste ends up in landfills, where it releases methane pollution as it decomposes, further contributing to global warming.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Purchase only the amount of food that you are able to consume before it expires.
Compost your food waste. Get tips from Natural Resource Defense Council's OnEarth magazine.