More than one-third of the world's food produced for human consumption is wasted — that's more than billion tons of food per year, more than 200 million tons of which is wasted by consumers in wealthy countries. To put that in perspective, the amount of food wasted in wealthy countries is about as much as the net food production of sub-Saharan Africa.
More facts about food waste:
- Consumers in North America and Europe throw away more than 200 pounds (more than 90 kg) of food per person per year. Those in sub-Saharan Africa or Asia throw away only 13-20 pounds (about 6-9 kg) of food a year. Americans throw away about one-third of the food they buy.
- Though a lot of food waste happens on the consumer level, retailers and food producers waste a lot of food as well because of the emphasis on foods that looks good.
- According to a study by the United Nations, a major source of food waste is "buy one get one free" sales, which tend to lead to consumers buying more than they can use and then throwing away the excess.