According to Michigan State University’s (MSU) fourth and most recent Food Literacy and Engagement Poll, 88 percent of those surveyed say they take steps to reduce food waste at home. The survey results, released at the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 14, 2019, surveyed 2,090 Americans on their attitudes and knowledge of food waste.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that 30-40 percent of all food produced in the United States ends up in a landfill. Half of all food waste is from households and amounts to 150,000 tons each day, according to a study published in Plos One. Food waste represents 22 percent of the garbage in landfills.
Food@MSU, an initiative of MSU’s AgBioResearch, is working to bridge the gap between the consumer and their food by conducting food literacy surveys and holding in-person forums where the public can engage with agriculture scientists and experts. Its latest survey on food waste indicates consumers are beginning to recognize the food waste problem—with 41 percent of Americans correctly indicating that 30-40 percent of the food annually produced in the U.S. goes to waste—and are taking steps to reduce it in their homes.
Seventy-one percent of those surveyed said they proactively reduce their household food waste by not purchasing excess food and consuming it before it spoils. Thirty-four percent share excess food when possible. Additional survey insights are available at Food@MSU.