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.



  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

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