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.
- Wasted Food, Wasted Energy: The Embedded Energy in Food Waste in the United States (Environmental Science & Technology)
- US food waste worth more than offshore drilling (New Scientist)
- Impacts of Increased Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Lower 48 Federal Outer Continental Shelf (US Dept. of Energy)