Tag Archives: behavior change

4 Surprising Findings About Food Waste

Packages of bulk chicken

Buying in bulk can lead to food waste. Photo: Stephen Downes via Flickr

A trio of new surveys on U.S. consumer food waste has been released in the last month, which is encouraging news for those of us who are looking for ways to help Americans waste less food. Much of the current body of food waste research, while helpful, has been conducted in other counties, so it’s great to see a trend toward figuring out what’s really happening in American kitchens. Here’s a rundown of interesting findings from the reports.

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Keeping Up With the Joneses

Sustainable America's Ford C-Max Energi

Peer pressure can be a powerful thing. It’s not so great in middle school when it can lead to group bullying or encourage youth to take unnecessary risks. But when it comes to making small behavior changes, it turns out that we are more likely to take a step when we can look to our peers for support—or a little friendly competition.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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