From the Academy| Volume 116, ISSUE 7, P1199-1207, July 2016

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The State of America’s Wasted Food and Opportunities to Make a Difference

Published:March 21, 2016DOI:
      Over one-third of all food produced in America goes uneaten each year, with most of it ending up in our landfills.

      Gunders D. Wasted: How America is losing up to 40 percent of its food from farm to fork to landfill. Natural Resources Defense Council website. Published August 2012. Accessed August 12, 2015.

      To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent of throwing 320,000 jumbo jets’ worth of food directly into the landfill each year. Reducing, reusing, and recycling wasted food and creating an infrastructure that supports these actions across the food supply chain can assist with feeding the estimated 49 million Americans who are food insecure, reduce agricultural pressures on the environment, and increase business efficiencies for those producing and selling food. This report highlights where wasted food can potentially occur throughout the food supply chain, the environmental and economic impact of wasted food, and opportunity areas for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to help reduce wasted food within a total infrastructure that has both a business and consumer-facing perspective. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy) is committed to advancing the practice of nutrition and dietetics and has funded this report to highlight opportunities around improving our current levels of wasted food.
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      C. Vogliano is a research fellow, Agriculture, Nutrition and Health, Chicago, IL.


      K. Brown is national education director, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chicago, IL.