Wasted Food Equals Wasted Energy?
The amount of food wasted each year by Americans represents the energy equivalent of 350 million barrels of oil, or about 2 percent of the nation’s annual energy consumption, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Texas say it takes the equivalent of about 1.4 billion barrels of oil to produce, process, package, and transport a year’s worth of food in the United States — between 8 and 16 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption.
And, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates, about 27 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. each year, including 33 percent of fats and oils, 32 percent of dairy products, 31 percent of eggs, and 25 percent of vegetables, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. “The energy embedded in wasted food represents a substantial target for decreasing energy consumption in the U.S.,” the researchers said.
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