The nutritional value of wasted food is quantified

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In Maryland, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future calculated the nutritional value of the U.S. retail and consumer food waste of 213 commodities in 2012. The food waste contained 1,217 calories, 33 grams of protein, 5.9 grams of dietary fiber, 1.7 micrograms of vitamin D, 286 milligrams calcium and 880 milligrams potassium per person, per day.

“Huge quantities of nutritious foods end up in landfills instead of meeting Americans’ dietary needs,” says study lead author Marie Spiker, MSPH, RD, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and a doctoral candidate in the Bloomberg School’s Department of International Health. “Our findings illustrate how food waste exists alongside inadequate intake of many nutrients.”

Previous research estimated that as much as 40 percent of food is wasted nationally, but the nutritional value of that food waste was not known.