Food waste piles up

Despite Oregon’s place as the second-hungriest state, 40% of food ends up as waste.

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A new National Institutes of Health study says that 40% of food produced ends up in the garbage.

Oregon nonprofits like Urban Gleaners make use of 40,000 pounds of discarded food each month.

The food we toss consumes 4 percent of all U.S. oil and more than 25 percent of our fresh water. Food rotting in landfills produces methane, a potent climate-changing gas. Not to mention the energy spent first delivering, then hauling away uneaten food.

And the marketing of excess food helps drive the obesity epidemic. The increase in waste parallels a 26 percent increase in food available to each American between 1974 and 2003, the years of the study. That translates to 800 extra calories of food available per person per day, even as our population has grown.


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