Food Waste in America

Relocating unused food in America by 4% can feed over 5 million people.


16.6% of Americans live in households that do not have a stable source of food. The definition of "Food Insecurity" is the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members.

Economic: Globally, around $400 billion in food is wasted annually, and in the US, the disposal of food waste costs around $1.5 billion a year. Decreasing the food one buys can save money for little effort (probably for less effort than actually buying more food).


The chemical decomposition of food in landfills generates a large amount of methane, a greenhouse gas worse for the environment than large amounts of CO2.

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Organizations That Work to Lessen the Effects of Food Waste in America

The following organizations work through charity by opening food banks for the hungry and finding sources of excess food to supply them. They work through justice by petitioning and spreading awareness of food waste.


End Hunger

Feeding America

Food Waste in Religion

Catholicism: The doctrine of Catholicism is based upon treating others with kindness, respect, and a just attitude. There is no respect given to the dignity of the hungry when Americans waste (for little reason) food that could easily go to those in need.

“At the same time, we have “a sort of ‘super-development’ of a wasteful and consumerist kind which forms an unacceptable contrast with the ongoing situations of dehumanizing deprivation”, while we are all too slow in developing economic institutions and social initiatives which can give the poor regular access to basic resources.”

Laudato Si:

Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 35: AAS 101 (2009), 671.


The doctrine of Buddhism is similar in that the respect the people around us is very important. Again, the waste of food is seen as a disrespect to what we have and to those who do not have.

“There is a Buddhist concept known as mottainai, which encourages… us to be grateful for the resources we have, to be respectful of them and use them with care. It also calls for us not to waste.”

–Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai


The Quran states that God believes that all waste is comparable to theft and should be avoided by anyone who wishes to follow Him.

“When you see one who has more, look to one who has less.” [Prophet Muhammad]