Are you Wasting $1800 a Year from Unused and Wasted Groceries?

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AAEA members release new research in AJAE

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American households waste, on average, almost a third of the food they acquire, according to economists, who say this wasted food has an estimated aggregate value of $240 billion annually. Divided among the nearly 128.6 million U.S. households, this waste could be costing the average household about $1,866 per year.

This inefficiency in the food economy has implications for health, food security, food marketing and climate change, noted Edward Jaenicke, professor of agricultural economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University in a new article published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics (AJAE).

"Our findings are consistent with previous studies, which have shown that 30% to 40% of the total food supply in the United States goes uneaten — and that means that resources used to produce the uneaten food, including land, energy, water and labor, are wasted as well," Jaenicke said. "But this study is the first to identify and analyze the level of food waste for individual households, which has been nearly impossible to estimate because comprehensive, current data on uneaten food at the household level do not exist."

If you are interested in speaking with the author of “Estimating Food Waste as Household Production Inefficiency”, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit http://www.aaea.org.

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Allison Scheetz
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