If you’re anything like me, your folks were militant about not wasting food when you were a kid.
If you're not convinced, here are some facts that will probably leave you feeling determined to change your most wasteful habits for good:
1. Every year we throw away 40% of our food supply — a fact that's pretty outrageous considering one in six Americans doesn't have access to enough food.
2. The average American household throws away $2,200 worth of food each year.
3. And that means collectively, Americans toss around $165 billion of food annually.
4. Forty two million people are "food insecure" in the United States, including 13 million children and 5.4 million seniors.
5. America’s food waste could provide an estimated 2,000-calorie diet to 274 million people.
6. Food waste is the single-biggest occupant of American landfills.
7. And the amount we waste grows more and more every year.
8. It takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single egg, which is enough to fill a large bathtub.
9. Nuts also require a surprising amount of water per pound: 1,929 gallons for almonds and 1,704 gallons for cashews.
10. As does chocolate, which requires an average of 2,061 gallons per pound.
11. Wasting two ½-pound burgers is like wasting 1,847 gallons of water.
12. Around 52% of America's fresh produce goes uneaten.
13. Processed foods require more water and energy than their raw counterparts.
14. And 90% of Americans needlessly toss food too soon due to a basic misunderstanding of sell-by and use-by dates.
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Ashlee Piper is a journalist, TV personality, and author of the new sustainable living book, Give A Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet.