Study: Americans Throw Nearly Half Their Food Away

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Americans throw out nearly half of their food, tossing up to 40 percent in the garbage each year, according to a new study. That adds up to an estimated $165 billion in food wasted annually.

The Natural Resources Defense Council reports that an average family of four squanders $2,275 in food each year, or about 20 pounds of food per person each month. That's 10 times as much food as a consumer in South Asia trashes each year, according to the council.

"As a country, we're essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path. That's money and precious resources down the drain," Dana Gunders, a scientist with the council's food and agriculture program, told Reuters.

Food waste has jumped 50 percent in the U.S. since the 1970s, and now makes up the majority of solid waste in landfills, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Cutting food waste by even 15 percent would save enough to feed 25 million Americans each year, the council said.