Americans throw away nearly 40 percent of their food for a total of $165 billion in waste every year, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path,” Dana Gunders, the study’s author, said in a statement. “That’s money and precious resources down the drain.” While the majority of waste occurs in homes and at supermarkets, there are weak spots across the production chain. Farmers don’t always harvest their food, some items are grown with cosmetic defects, and distributors often reject shipments. Consumers often mistakenly throw away food at the “use by” date, even though the label reflects peak quality rather than safety. Since the 1970s, the amount of unused food has increased 50 percent in the U.S. Globally, the European Parliament adopted a resolution aimed at cutting food waste in half by 2020, but no similar bill has been adopted in the U.S.
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