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Why Healthy Eaters Waste the Most Food — and What You Can Do About It


It’s hard to imagine a downside to a healthy diet. We all know eating right reduces our risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; keeps us supplied with necessary vitamins and minerals; and helps us maintain a healthy weight. But a study released earlier this year revealed a surprising drawback that often accompanies a well-balanced diet: increased food waste. Since many health-conscious people also care deeply about their global footprint, this is a troubling finding. How could our good intentions have such a detrimental effect on the planet?

Regardless of the quality of our diet, we’re all wasting dizzying amounts of food on a daily basis. The study found that, on average, American consumers don’t use 26 percent of food at home — a statistic that echoes other research conducted on the subject in the last several years. All told, from farm to fork to landfill, experts estimate about 40 percent of food produced goes uneaten, with Americans throwing away about a pound of food per day.

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