Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Concerned About Wasting Energy? Try Reducing Your Food Waste

How much energy does our annual food waste represent? A lot. About 2% of the total annual energy consumption in the U.S. according to a new study.

A pile of food waste

Photo: sporkist (Flickr)

New Scientist Magazine reports recent estimates suggest that 16 per cent of the energy consumed in the US is used to produce food. Yet at least 25 per cent of food is wasted each year.

A study released last week by the American Chemical Society in the journal Environmental Science & Technology looks at the amount of energy that is embedded in the food that goes to waste each year in the United States.

How much energy does our annual food waste represent? A lot.

2030 ± 160 trillion BTU of energy in 2007, the study found – or just about 2% of the total annual energy consumption in the U.S.

New Scientist Magazine compares that number with the amount of energy stored in offshore oil and gas reserves.

Recent estimates suggest that 16 per cent of the energy consumed in the US is used to produce food. Yet at least 25 per cent of food is wasted each year…That’s more than could be gained from many popular strategies to improve energy efficiency.

…and also more than the total energy available from offshore oil and gas reserves, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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Adam Schweigert

Adam Schweigert is the Managing Editor and Senior Producer for Earth Eats. He is also the Online Director for Indiana Public Media (WFIU/WTIU) and has been with WFIU Public Radio since the fall of 2003, previously serving as Director of Multimedia Initiatives, Music Director and Arts Bureau Chief. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his dog Sydney.

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