As World's Belly Rumbles, Gluttonous US Tosses Food

27% of available food ends up in the trash
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2008 11:06 AM CDT
More cities are using food rescue organizations to transfer food that's about to be discarded from restaurants and grocery stores to food pantries.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Americans throw out roughly a quarter of all food available for consumption, even as grocery prices skyrocket and global riots break out over food shortages, the New York Times reports. That works out to about a pound of food every day for every American—from grocery stories tossing spoiled produce to restaurants scrapping uneaten dishes to home cooks pitching uneaten leftovers in the fridge.

Fresh produce, milk, grain products, and sweeteners account for two-thirds of all waste, roughly 30 million tons of food each year. To combat waste, many major cities now have food rescue organizations that pick up and donate restaurant and grocery store food each night. Growing numbers of programs are donating scraps and overripe produce to livestock farmers or for composting.