U.S. Food Waste - Statistics & Facts

According to the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA), food waste is defined as ‘any solid or liquid food substance, raw or cooked, which is discarded or intended or required to be discarded’. Food waste is regarded as a widespread problem throughout the food industry and occurs in every aspect along the supply chain in the United States as well as worldwide.

Residential sources of food waste were the most important source of food waste in the United States in 2017, generating approximately 39.6 million wet tons of food waste. One example of a food that is most frequently wasted by households and commercial institutions is fresh fruits and vegetables, followed by prepared foods and leftovers.

The environmental implications of food waste are considerable as well. It has been estimated that 281 billion gallons of water could be conserved in the U.S. through consumer education programs targeting a reduction in food waste. For greenhouse gas emissions, it has been estimated that some 2.34 billion tons of food waste-related greenhouse gas emissions could be mitigated through consumer education programs.

A recent survey revealed that some 77.2 percent of Americans feel guilty when throwing food away. It is also interesting to consider the food waste in the U.S. in contrast with the amount of individuals who struggle with food insecurity there.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Food Waste".

Food waste in the U.S.

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!

Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Food Waste" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Environmental impact

U.S. overview

Consumer waste


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