(NEW YORK) — On average, families in the United States throw away 20 pounds of food each month, an amount worth approximately $2,000 annually for a family of four.
John Floros, the dean of the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, found in a new study that in the United States, nearly four out of every 10 pounds of food produced annually is tossed in the trash. That figure includes food thrown away by members of households, restaurants, supermarkets, and other food-service providers.
Floros, who presented his study at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, included uneaten and spoiled food, as well as food thrown away after being prepared.
According to scientists, food decomposition releases methane gas into the air. Methane gas is a significantly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and fosters global warming.
Floros’ study comes to the conclusion that a reduction in food waste could solve global challenges by “providing more food to a growing population, reducing greenhouse gases, and reducing the amount of freshwater needed to grow crops.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Pamela Brown, Jake Tapper and Dan Merica, CNN
Jamiel Lynch and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN