About

abandoned orangeAmericans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion. At the same time, food prices and the number of Americans without enough to eat continues to rise.

Fusing my journalistic research on the topic with the work of countless others, this site examines how we squander so much food. Part blog, part call to action, Wasted Food aims to shed light on the problem of, you guessed it, wasted food.

I’ve been researching this topic since 2005, when two experiences made me aware of just how much food is wasted. Volunteering at D.C. Central Kitchen, a homeless shelter that rescues unused food from restaurants and supermarkets illuminated the excess in those areas. Gleaning, or gathering crops that would otherwise be left in the field and distributing them to the hungry, illustrated the agricultural abundance that is often plowed under.

gleaning sweet potatoes

When you’re looking for it, you see food waste everywhere–at restaurants, in large portions and even in your own refrigerator. If more and more people recognize their own food waste, we can take a bite out of this problem.

Hope you’re hungry for change.

 

61 Comments

  1. Posted November 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    we need to help if we don’t it will back fire at use so we need to help because that is we are called to do GOD sent use to sereve we have to geav more because not all gose to them i konw it hurtrs but we have to try

  2. Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Why waste food when so many people go hungry everyday? Consume less, donate more to charities like Feeding America!

  3. Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    WOW! I didnt know that much food was wasted!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    WOW! I didnt k now THAT much food was wasted!

  5. Ashley Singer
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Dear John:
    The information you provided during last night’s lecture at University of Pennsylvania was not surprising to me, but I still want to thank you for enlightening my boyfriend and others in the room who may not have been as educated on the topic.
    I work for a large food manufacturing company and I run our sustainability and recycling program for our segment. All of our scrap product and packaging that cannot be sold is diverted from landfill by using the same EPA pyramid you showed in your lecture. Every day I try to find ways to educate my co-workers about workplace sustainability. We are building a green campus by 2015 that will include rainwater collection and solar technology, and we’re not demolishing our current building; rather, we are renewing what we already have. We have many workstreams being assigned to help build this campus, and I am designated to Landscape and to Sustainability. I am always looking for people who have the same food ethics as I do, and it was very reassuring and empowering to hear from you last night. I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that I’ll be thinking of, and utilizing these very same ethics you spoke of whilst planning our landscape and sustainable culture here. Do you lecture at businesses?

  6. steven
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    what is the top food wasted in the U.S? i think it has to be bread, any opinions or facts?

  7. Posted August 27, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    i hate this wastage of food i will surely try an do something about it ananyasingh

  8. Posted August 27, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    i hate wastage of food and i will surely try not to waste food at my home i am making a diffrence are you ananya sigh

  9. alan
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    hey wow that orange at the beggining of the page was nasty.>:(

  10. Brian
    Posted November 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    An increasingly large percentage of people are living alone and it is a challenge to buy smaller portions so that it can all be consumed before it goes bad. Sure, you can freeze a loaf of bread, but the truth is it loses quality and taste. Can stores take this into account and start providing smaller portions to reflect this demographic?

  11. john
    Posted March 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    what orange

37 Trackbacks

  1. By market food on September 7, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    market food…

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….

  2. [...] waste is a huge problem in the United States — over 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption is wasted every year — and most of that waste is [...]

  3. By Eating America’s Trash | MMC Blog on July 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    [...] here’s a film that illuminates the complementary issue of food waste. The amount we waste is [...]

  4. [...] throw away 40-50% of all food grown in our country. The magnitude of this figure is hard to grasp- our yearly [...]

  5. [...] but what's sadder to me is the wasteful culture (over 40% of the food we produce goes to waste–read about it), the salaries of professional athletes and entertainers, and hearing about Lindsey Lohan in the [...]

  6. [...] Jonathan Bloom is in Portland today to promote his new book: American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly [...]

  7. By Food Waste in K-12 Operations « Food Waste Focus on August 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    [...] waste is a concern for every foodservice operation. In the U.S. approximately 40% of food is wasted between the farm and the plate. Wasted food is especially troubling in K-12 operations because this [...]

  8. [...] Hunger Amid Plenty Adding to the crisis is the fact that vast amounts of food are simply wasted. Americans alone throw out about 40 percent of the food they buy, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland. [...]

  9. [...] Singapore, where I'm in school, food waste ranks third after paper and plastics, while in the U.S., it's over 40 percent (according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland). Nonetheless, at first it was hard to [...]

  10. [...] where I’m in school, food waste ranks third after paper and plastics, while in the U.S., it’s over 40 percent (according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland). Nonetheless, at first it was hard to [...]

  11. [...] population — and 50 million residents of the world's richest country — hungry while wasting an astounding amount of food can't possibly be considered a [...]

  12. [...] — and 50 million residents of the world’s richest country — hungry while wasting an astounding amount of food can’t possibly be considered a [...]

  13. [...] population — and 50 million residents of the world’s richest country — hungry while wasting an astounding amount of food can’t possibly be considered a [...]

  14. [...] — and 50 million residents of the world’s richest country — hungry while wasting an astounding amount of food can’t possibly be considered a [...]

  15. [...] — and 50 million residents of the world’s richest country — hungry while wasting an astounding amount of food can’t possibly be considered a [...]

  16. [...] world’s population — and 50 million residents of the world’s richest country — hungry while wasting an astounding amount of food can’t possibly be considered a success.On the bright side, Foley’s team of [...]

  17. [...] – Jonathan Bloom,  wastedfood.com [...]

  18. [...] year Americans waste 40 percent of food produced in this country. Meanwhile, more than 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide struggle [...]

  19. [...] year Americans waste 40 percent of food produced in this country. Meanwhile, more than 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide struggle [...]

  20. [...] year Americans waste 40 percent of food produced in this country. Meanwhile, more than 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide struggle [...]

  21. [...] year Americans waste 40 percent of food produced in this country. Meanwhile, more than 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide struggle [...]

  22. [...] year Americans waste 40 percent of food produced in this country. Meanwhile, more than 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide struggle [...]

  23. [...] year Americans waste 40 percent of food produced in this country. Meanwhile, more than 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide struggle [...]

  24. [...] more on the food we throw away  visit Jonathan Bloom at Wasted Food; or the E.P.A. — where you’ll find out that Americans generate 34 million tons of food [...]

  25. [...] 40% of the food produced in the U.S. isn’t consumed. It’s wasted. This percentage has grown over recent decades as our portion sizes have [...]

  26. [...] — and 50 million residents of the world’s richest country — hungry while wasting an astounding amount of food can’t possibly be considered a [...]

  27. [...] contribute to pollution and climate change, but research has found that Americans throw away over $100 billion of food a year.  In 2009, a scientific study published in Science Daily found that food waste was [...]

  28. [...] Hunger Amid Plenty Adding to the crisis is the fact that vast amounts of food are simply wasted. Americans alone throw out about 40 percent of the food they buy, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland. [...]

  29. [...] most concerning, 70,000,000,000,000 ounces of food thrown away needlessly. Nicole needed a $10 set of [...]

  30. [...] Bloom, author of American Wasteland, found “Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at [...]

  31. [...] tolerate each other, much less to love everyone; we allow millions of people to go hungry while we throw away a huge amount of food; we support laws that basically make it illegal to be homeless, while we rattle around in huge [...]

  32. By March 8, 2012 – Segment 3 :: WP Test 11/12/12 on December 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    [...] Jonathan Bloom joins us.  He joins us to discuss the tremendous waste of food in this country, where we throw [...]

  33. By Food waste: life of a pie « Jagir Patel on January 11, 2013 at 2:35 am

    [...] Jonathan Bloom, in his book “American Wasteland,” tells us that Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption, while food prices and the number of people in this world [...]

  34. [...] Hunger Amid Plenty Adding to the crisis is the fact that vast amounts of food are simply wasted. Americans alone throw out about 40 percent of the food they buy, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland. [...]

  35. [...] attention to food waste has illuminated a major problem with the world’s food supply: more than 40 percent of the world’s food is ending up in landfills instead of being routed to people who [...]

  36. [...] Don’t waste food.  Americans waste more than 40% of the food we produce for consumption. Buy only what you will eat and learn to repurpose – or, better yet – share [...]

  37. [...] Spending is out of control. Especially at the grocery store. Did you know Americans waste 40% of the food they buy? That’s shocking and unfortunate, especially when you consider that in 2010, almost one billion people went starving. [...]

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Buy the Book

    CBA Winner Badge