One-Third of Food Produced Is Wasted, Study Says
The company whose product lines include Bubble Wrap, Cryovac and Diversey commissioned the report to evaluate Americansâ€™ food habits, sustainability practices, and overall awareness of food waste issues.
The studyâ€™s key findings show that while there is growing concern and awareness of how much food is wasted in the US, most American consumers still donâ€™t consider their own households to be wasteful or a part of the problem: 67 percent say food waste is a concern; yet only 33 percent say food waste in their home is a concern.
While packaging plays a key role in preventing waste, the Sealed Air study also found that American consumers:
- Associate packaging more with safety than waste;
- See discarded packaging as worse for the environment than food waste and food that has minimal or no packaging being more environmentally friendly; and
- Will often behave contrary to their beliefs (50 percent rewrap food into new packaging when they are home).
According to the Sealed Air study, more than one-third of the food produced in the US is never eaten. This translates into:
- Fifty million tons of wasted food in the US;
- Lost profits for farmers and producers and higher prices for consumers;
- The use of 300 million barrels of oil per year, much of which could be re-allocated;
- One-quarter of all freshwater consumption; and
- A cost of $160 billion per year.
Food productsâ€™ date labeling variations leads to confusion, which may cause financial loss for stores and manufacturers, and contribute to â€śsignificantâ€ť food waste, according to a Walmart-funded scientific review paper published in this month’s issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
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