Eating better leads to higher levels of food waste in America

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In Vermont, Americans waste nearly a pound of food per person each day, but the exact amount of food we trash differs by how healthy your diet is, according to a new University of Vermont co-authored national study. While most people want to eat better – by putting more fruit and vegetables on their plates – the study found that higher quality diets were associated with higher levels of food waste.

Between 2007 and 2014, U.S. consumers wasted nearly 150,000 tons of food per day – nearly a pound of food per person each day. Researchers estimate that food waste corresponded with the use of 30 million acres of land, about 7 percent of total U.S. cropland, and 4.2 trillion gallons of water each year.

According to the study, the amount of wasted food equals roughly 30 percent of the average daily calories consumed for every American, or more than 320 million people.