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7 Mind-blowing Food Waste Facts & What You Can do to Help

7 Mind-blowing Food Waste Facts & What You Can do to Help

Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Imperfect Foods

One third of all food produced is wasted or lost, that's equivalent to 1.3 billion metric tons of food! In the U.S alone, 30 million tons of food is wasted. Now that's a LOT of food!

After I heard that one-third of all food is wasted or lost, I was immediately curious as to why that was the case. Why is so much food just wasted? There had to be a logical reason... (spoiler alert, there isn't).

I needed to find an answer, so I did some research. Here's what I found as to why so much food is wasted.

Why is so much perfectly good food wasted around the globe? Food is thrown out because it doesn't meet cosmetic standards, doesn't meet strict specifications set by the buyer, the supplier can have a surplus of food, the food could be undervalued, the retailer could be changing their packaging, or the food's expiration date is within a few months.

Despite all that food being thrown out for those reasons, all that food is still perfectly good and safe to eat.

List of food waste facts

food waste

To help raise awareness about food waste and the environmental impacts that come with it, I've created a list of food waste facts that have been shared by National Geographic, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, and BBC.

  • The global volume of food wastage is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes of "primary product equivalents." Total food wastage for the edible part of this amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes. (FAO, n.d)
  • Food wastage's carbon footprint is estimated at 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of GHG released into the atmosphere per year. (FAO, n.d)
  • Food waste consumes about 21% of all fresh water and 18% of available cropland space every year (National Geographic, 2020)
  • The NRDC stated that the number of calories wasted in the United States each year could, in theory, fully feed about 150,000,000 people (National Geographic, 2020)
  • Wasted and lost food accounts for almost 10% of all our greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN. (BBC News, 2020)
  • Above plastics and paper, food is the number one item sent to the landfill in the United States (National Geographic, 2020)
  • 1.4 billion hectares of land - 28 percent of the world's agricultural area - is used annually to produce food that is lost or wasted.

How to reduce food waste when shopping

imperfect foods

One of the best ways to reduce food waste when shopping is to prioritize buying foods that would otherwise be undervalued or go to waste. 

If you live in the United States, you can sign up for Imperfect Foods and do your part in helping reduce food waste! They’re reimagining grocery delivery for a kinder, less wasteful world by sourcing undersized apples, not-quite-tricolor quinoa, and so much more. Now, this underdog food doesn’t go to waste and you can get delightful, responsibly-sourced, and effortless weekly groceries delivered.


Food waste is a massive problem in the world. One-third of all food should not be lost or wasted, that's an absurd amount of food! A great way to help make a change is to buy food that would otherwise be wasted, that's why Imperfect Foods is a fantastic option to shop at! 

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