If you’re anything like me, your folks were militant about not wasting food when you were a kid.
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If so, there‘s also a high chance you spent at least one entire evening sitting at the dining table alone because you refused to finish your mom’s tuna casserole. And while it seemed wildly unfair at the time, your parents were actually onto something, because food waste was — and still is — an enormous global issue, especially in the United States.
If you‘re not convinced, here are some facts that will probably leave you feeling determined to change your most wasteful habits for good:
1. Every year we throw away of our food supply — a fact that‘s pretty outrageous considering one in six Americans doesn‘t have access to enough food.
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Food also requires a lot of resources — land, water, animal feed, fuel, and carbon emissions created from travel — to get to our plates, so when we waste food, we waste resources too.
2. The average American household throws away worth of food each year.
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That’s enough dough for a luxury solo trip to Bali, or a few months of full-time child care in most major cities.
3. And that means collectively, Americans toss around of food annually.
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To put things in perspective, that’s the federal budget.
4. people are “food insecure” in the United States, including 13 million children and 5.4 million seniors.
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Being food insecure means you currently live without access to a sufficient amount of nutritious food.
5. America’s food waste could provide an estimated 2,000-calorie diet to people.
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That‘s about 84% of the population.
6. Food waste is the single-biggest occupant of American landfills.
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It‘s also responsible for of global greenhouse gas emissions.
7. And the amount we waste grows more and more every year.
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Since 1960, our annual food waste has grown by .
8. It takes to produce a single egg, which is enough to fill a large bathtub.
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Next time you throw away an egg, remember that water.
9. also require a surprising amount of water per pound: 1,929 gallons for almonds and 1,704 gallons for cashews.
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10. As does chocolate, which requires an average of per pound.
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If you’re that rare specimen who has chocolate you’re looking to offload, HMU before you toss it in the trash!
11. Wasting two ½-pound burgers is like wasting of water.
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And wasting a pound of beef is like wasting of grain, which is enough to bake 36 loaves of bread.
12. Around of America‘s fresh produce goes uneaten.
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We throw away enough dietary fiber for 74 million women and 48 million men each year, even though it’s estimated that the average American has a fiber deficiency.
13. require more water and energy than their raw counterparts.
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For example, have more than three times the water footprint of potatoes, ketchup requires twice as much water as tomatoes, and a single glass of orange juice requires versus the 13 gallons necessary to grow an orange.
14. And of Americans needlessly toss food too soon due to a basic misunderstanding of sell-by and use-by dates.
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Eggs, for example, are good for up to five weeks past the marked use-by date. You can find out more about .
PS. Do you care about your community, the environment, and the general state of the world? Well, don‘t forget to sign up to vote in the 2018 midterm elections!
Learn more about your state‘s important election dates !
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Ashlee Piper is a journalist, TV personality, and author of the new sustainable living book,
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