Let's Talk Trash

The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's (CNPP) infographic — Let’s Talk Trash (1-page infographic, 2-page infographic) — is all about food loss and food waste. CNPP is raising awareness about how individuals and families can reduce food loss and waste, in support of larger USDA efforts. This includes consumer-friendly resources to help audiences think about the amount of food wasted at home.

Why are food loss and waste important?

There is a growing concern about food loss and waste throughout the United States. Consider that about 90 billion pounds of edible food goes uneaten each year.¹ This costs most people about $370 each year.

As the world population continues to grow, there is a greater need to set goals and develop initiatives to reduce the amount of food wasted. Less food loss and waste can help save money, improve food access, and protect natural resources. The impacts of food loss and waste include:

  • Food waste is the single largest component going into municipal landfills.
  • Wholesome food is sent to landfills instead of feeding people in need.
  • Producing, processing, transporting, preparing, storing, and disposing of discarded food uses inputs such as land, water, labor, and energy that could be available for other purposes.

What can you do?

Being mindful about planning, purchasing, protecting, preserving, storing, re-purposing, donating and recycling food can help you save money and reduce the amount of food thrown away. Visit the Eating Healthy on a Budget section to find ways to eat healthy and manage food resources at home. Click on the links below to find ways to help you make small changes.

How is USDA involved in food loss and waste?

¹ Buzby, J.C., Wells, H.F., and Hyman, J. 2014. The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Information Bulletin Number 121 (Feb.).