Reports / Reports

Food Matters: What Food We Waste and How We Can Expand the Amount of Food We Rescue

Wasted food and its effects on people, the environment, and the economy have become a major topic of
national conversation, and for good reason. When we waste food, we also waste all the water, energy,
labor, agricultural chemicals, and other resources that go into growing, storing and transporting it. That
adds up to an economic loss of $218 billion each year.

To begin to address these questions in detail, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) developed two reports and a series of case studies with support from The Rockefeller Foundation. One study offers critical data about the amounts, sources, and types of food going to waste in three U.S. cities. The other study reveals opportunities for redirecting additional surplus foods to those in need at the city level. City and county governments, in tandem with business leaders, non-profit organizations, philanthropic stakeholders and citizens, can be leading players in catalyzing innovation to reduce the amount of food going to waste and increase food donation. Our analysis and methodologies are designed to provide groundbreaking tools and insights to inform and inspire cities across the country
to more fully meet the challenge of wasted food.