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The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States

by Jean C. Buzby, Hodan Farah Wells, and Jeffrey Hyman

Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-121) 39 pp, February 2014

Cover image for EIB121 In the United States, 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices. For the first time, ERS estimated the calories associated with food loss: 141 trillion in 2010, or 1,249 calories per capita per day.

Errata: On June 27, 2014, Tables 2, 3, and 5 were updated to correct some incorrect values. The errors did not affect summary totals in the tables or report findings.

Keywords: Food waste, food consumption, food loss, food recovery, foodservice, recycling, plate waste, processing

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Last updated: Friday, June 27, 2014

For more information contact: Jean C. Buzby, Hodan Farah Wells, and Jeffrey Hyman