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While food plays a key role in shaping our identities and it is highly celebrated in American society, each year 40 percent of food in the United States never gets eaten, translating to $218 billion lost, which includes the cost of food wasted on the consumer level, retail, wasted water, energy, fertilizers, cropland, and production costs.
In addition to wasting precious resources, nearly all of the food waste ends up in landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a form of climate pollution that is up to 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In fact, food is the single largest contributor to U.S. landfills today. All this while one in eight Americans don’t have a steady supply of food to their tables.
Consumers are responsible for more wasted food than farmers, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other part of the food supply chain, so changing household behavior is key to reducing the problem of food waste. 21 percent of the food each person buys goes to waste, with the average American family of four spending $1,800 per year on food that they don’t eat and each individual toss about 20 pounds of food per month, adding up to 238 pounds of wasted food a year.
In effort to spread awareness about the importance of reducing food waste, NRDC has partnered with the Ad Council to create a PSA campaign inspiring Americans to “Save the Food” by showcasing the wondrous life cycle of food and the loss of resources when it goes unconsumed. The campaign encourages Americans to make simple lifestyle changes like making shopping lists, freezing food, and using leftovers to reduce waste in their own homes.
The campaign launched its first round of work in April 2016. Visit SaveTheFood.com to learn how to better plan, store, and cook your food.
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