How much is there?

There are millions of tons of food loss and waste in the United States

There is no single comprehensive estimate of food loss and waste (FLW) in the United States. A number of diverse estimates describe the extent of the problem. These estimates vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether inedible parts, such as bones, rinds and pits, are included
  • Which destinations, such as animal feed and composting, are included
  • Which primary data sets and methods are used

Commonly cited estimates of FLW in the United States include (scroll down to learn more about how these estimates compare):

66.5 million tons
133 billion lbs. in 2010 (approximately 30% of the food supply)

40.7 million tons
81.4 billion lbs. in 2017

40% of the food supply
Measured in 2003 (equals approximately 86 million tons or 172 billion lbs. in 2010 using the same food-supply and consumption-pattern estimates used by USDA in its estimate)

62.5 million tons
125 billion lbs. in 2015