food waste

By now, you probably know that Americans waste a lot of food.

Each year, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food that farmers grow never makes it to our plates. That's enough to fill 44 skyscrapers. And tons of it ends up in landfills, where it emits methane, a greenhouse gas.

Pumpkins of almost any variety have flesh high in fiber and beta carotene. Their seeds, delicious when toasted or baked, can be rich in potassium and protein.

But we didn't eat the vast majority of the 1.91 billion pounds of pumpkins grown in the U.S. in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Instead we, of course, carved faces into them, set them aglow and perhaps left them to sit outside for days. And then we tossed them.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

People in the United States throw out about 133 billion pounds of uneaten food each year, which is something the United States Department of Agriculture and Environmental Project Agency want to stem. The offices announced last week the nation’s first ever food waste reduction goal of 50 percent by 2030, cutting food waste to 66.5 billion pounds a year.

Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

From NPR: Food waste is the No. 1 material going into landfills according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And a large chunk of it is coming from restaurants. All that wasted food doesn’t just make a rank smell, it’s contributing to global warming too.