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USDA Finds the most likely foods to be wasted at retail level (#1 may surprise you)

Recently released data from the USDA shows estimates food waste on the retail level compared to food waste on the consumer level. Which food type has the highest proportion of retail waste? Find out below.

Patrick Flynn, Co-Founder Hazel Technologies: Fresher, Longer, Healthier Fruits and Vegetables
Pat Flynn, Co-Founder, Hazel Technologies
Recent Data from the USDA breaking down food waste at the consumer and retail levels for major food

Recent Data from the USDA breaking down food waste at the consumer and retail levels for major food categories.  Source

Have you ever wondered how tens of billions of dollars of food every year can be wasted by consumers alone?

The truth is, its not just consumers, the retail sector (and even before retail) is responsible for a considerable amount of waste as well.

Food waste estimates released by the USDA (results summarized in figure above) yield some interesting insights on food waste, especially produce waste, in the retail sector.

Produce accounts for 49..4% off wasted food on the consumer and retail level

Produce accounts for 49..4% off wasted food on the consumer and retail level, according to recent data from the USDA.

The USDA findings can be broken down as follows:

- 38.9 % of Fruit is wasted pre-consumer (7.2 billion pounds per year)
- 36.4 % of Dairy is wasted pre-consumer (9.3 billion pounds per year)
- 27.7 % of Vegetables are wasted pre-consumer (7 billion pounds per year)
- 17.5% of meat and poultry are wasted pre-consumer (2.7 billion pounds per year)

Other interesting tidbits:

- While vegetables are only the 3rd most wasted food category on the retail level, they are the most wasted on the consumer level in terms of volume (18.2 billion pounds per year) and are the most likely to be wasted by consumers (72.3% of vegetable waste from consumers) besides meat and poultry (82.5% of meat and poultry waste from consumers).

- Produce (Fruits and Vegetables Combined) account for 43.5 billion pounds per year of wasted food, according to this figure, with approximately one third of that waste occurring at the retail level.

- Fruits and vegetables account for nearly half (49.4%) of wasted food on the retail and consumer levels combined.

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