This country is wasted. We already know that America throws out about 40 percent of the food we produce, and now we have a new alarming statistic to add to the garbage heap: The average American wastes $400 worth of food every year, or about 10 percent of our annual food purchases, according to a study from a University of Arizona graduate student. A family of four can waste up to $1,000 of food every year.
"People have really great intentions when they’re shopping,” researcher Victoria Ligon told NBC News 12. “They tend to buy lots of produce with the hope that they’re going to eat salad, but then when it actually comes to dinner time they’re tired, they’ve had a long day. They pull out the microwavable dinner."
Ligon believes, however, that these wasteful statistics can be turned around. She recommends shopping every few days instead of buying in bulk, so food is less likely to be thrown away. Meal prepping ahead of time also prevents food wastage. Buying groceries a week ahead of time is oftentimes a more convenient option for Americans because it’s cheaper to purchase in bulk at Costco than consistently buy fresh produce every few days at Trader Joe’s.
“We believe it's cheaper if we buy more now, but we rarely take into account how much we throw out in the end,” Ligon said in a press release. “And if you factor in the cost of what you are throwing away, it is very unlikely that you are saving anything."