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Two out of every five plates goes to waste; 40 percent of the U.S. annual food supply goes uneaten, according the Natural Resource Defense Council. To put a price tag on that, as a nation, we’re throwing out the equivalent of $162 billion each year, or roughly $1,500 a year lost on uneaten food for the average American family.
This food waste also incurs an environmental burden. About 25 percent of U.S. water supply goes to produce food that never gets eaten. In terms of air quality, this waste has a carbon footprint that matches the greenhouse gases from 33 million cars.
Certainly nothing is funny about those numbers, but as comedian John Oliver aptly put it, “At a time when the landscape of California is shriveling up like a pumpkin in front of a house with a lazy dad, it seems especially unwise that farmers are pumping water into food that ends up being used as a garnish for landfills.”