The authors of the report analyzed two data sets from the USDA to calculate the nutritional value of food waste at retail and consumer levels in 2012.
Here’s what they noticed about fiber, for example: The recommended daily fiber intake for a woman is 25 grams, yet women in America consume just 8.9 grams; meanwhile, the country squanders vast quantities of fiber-rich foods, enough to feed 74 million women their daily recommended amount of the nutrient.
One of the main reasons tons of healthful foods end up in landfills is because they’re not considered pretty enough to sell. Half of the produce grown in the U.S. is trashed because it’s bruised, misshapen, discolored or has some other deformity that’s non-threatening, according to a study conducted by The Guardian.
While there’s been a push in recent years for retailers to promote so-called “ugly” fruits and vegetables, they’re still being squandered at an alarming rate.