New data from ReFED reveals that the amount of food waste has stabilized after increasing by 11.9% since 2010



NEW YORK, February 2, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A New Online News Engine Launched Today by REFED – the only national nonprofit focused exclusively on ending food loss and waste in the food system – reveals that the the total amount of food waste has stabilized since 2016 after increasing by 11.9% at the start of the decade, and per capita food waste has actually decreased by 2% over the past three years. While this shows that efforts to reduce food waste are starting to have an impact, there is still a long way to go to achieve United States’ The national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030, especially as continued changes in the food system due to COVID-19 make it even more difficult to avoid food waste. Accompanied by ReFED Roadmap to 2030: Reduce food waste in the United States by 50%, Insights Engine is a centralized data and solutions hub containing the insights and insights needed to take meaningful action to resolve the issue.

In 2016, ReFED launched the benchmark Roadmap to reduce food waste in the United States by 20%, the very first national economic study on food waste to engage a multi-stakeholder group to develop a real action plan. Five years later – and based on in-depth analysis of public and proprietary data from across the entire food system – ReFED’s new analytics engine offers a reliable and one-of-a-kind online hub for data and updated solutions for businesses, government agencies, donors, nonprofits and more to reduce food waste.

According to the Insights Engine, in 2019, 35% of food was not eaten or unsold, which is the equivalent of throwing away 408 billion dollars, or 1.9% of US GDP. This has enormous impacts on the climate and natural resources, food insecurity and the economy. ReFED estimates that an annual investment of $ 14 billion Over the next ten years, implementing prevention, rescue and recycling solutions can reduce food waste by 45 million tonnes per year. This investment would result in $ 73 billion in annual net economic benefit for the country, avoiding 75 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year (equivalent to 16 million cars), saving 4 trillion gallons of water (more than used by the whole state of Colorado), save the equivalent of 4 billion meals per year for the 50 million food-insecure Americans, create 51,000 jobs in ten years – and achieve the reduction target by 2030.

Key findings from the Insights Engine also show that over 50% of farm-level waste is from edible food that is not harvested, 70% of food waste for restaurants and other catering businesses is from customers who do not finish the food that has been served to them. or taken, and the residential sector is still the largest source of food waste overall and has an even larger greenhouse gas footprint given the extra energy required to get food from farm to home . Insights Engine provides a comprehensive review of over 40 food waste solutions to address these issues and more based on their potential impact (net economic benefit, food waste diverted, greenhouse gas emissions reduced, meals recovered and jobs created. ). It offers a granular analysis of the causes and impacts of food waste in United States at the national level and by state and food industry sector, as well as the necessary investments and the potential return on investment of food waste reduction solutions. It also connects users with innovative solution providers ready to collaborate on food waste reduction initiatives.

In addition to the Insights engine, ReFED published its Roadmap to 2030, a framework to help implement solutions in Insights Engine. Roadmap to 2030 assesses the entire food supply chain and describes seven key action areas with recommended priorities for each that show where the food system needs to focus its efforts to reduce food waste over the next ten years. Especially the Roadmap to 2030 also provides detailed financial analysis to help guide the public, private and philanthropic capital investments needed to fund these efforts.

“Food waste is a problem that can be solved, and we are delighted to say that we are seeing progress. But we need massive acceleration to achieve meaningful change,” noted Dana gunders, Executive Director, ReFED. “The good news is that there are already a range of powerful solutions out there, and we’ve analyzed dozens of them, from the simplest to the most complex. With these new tools, we are moving from a paper road atlas to Google maps. , allowing us to see where we are and the next steps to get us where we want to be. ”

“As philanthropic funders and business investors, we have the opportunity to solve food waste. And we have a lot of choices. We can do it philanthropically, we can do it commercially, we can do it in our own backyard. yard, or we can do it nationally. The opportunity is ours, and what an exciting time to realize it, “ added Jesse fink, Director, The Fink Family Foundation and Founder of ReFED.

Current ReFED Insights engine tools include:

  • Food waste monitor: Shows how much food is wasted in the United States, why it is happening and where it is going.
  • Solutions database: Provides a comprehensive analysis of over 40 food waste reduction solutions based on impact goals, along with detailed factsheets on each.
  • Directory of solution providers: Features a verified list of over 700 non-profit and for-profit organizations ready to help implement food waste reduction initiatives.
  • Impact calculator: Quantifies the impact of food waste on the climate, natural resources, lost meals and the economy.
  • Food waste policy monitoring: Monitors current and future food waste policies at federal and local levels.

“Businesses, foundations and others can turn to the Insights Engine and Roadmap to 2030 to get the data they need to make the right decisions based on the impacts they seek to influence, noted Parr Sunny Reelhorn, executive director of Zero Hunger by Kroger Co. | Zero Waste Foundation, who provided anchor funding for Insights Engine. “These are comprehensive resources that can help businesses find solutions to tackle food waste challenges, find solution providers to partner with, learn about the impact of their efforts, and more.”

ReFED’s Insights Engine and Roadmap to 2030The analysis was based on more than 50 datasets and on the contribution of dozens of experts and practitioners from the food industry, professional trades, solution providers, academia, etc. The Insights Engine was made possible through a collaboration of foundations and organizations committed to supporting initiatives related to climate change, sustainable food systems, access to food and natural resources. In addition to The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, funding was provided by Ajana Foundation, Arjay R. & Frances F. Miller Family Foundation, Atticus Trust, Claneil Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Fink Family Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Harbourton Foundation, Hellman’s, The Hindawi Foundation, Kenneth Goldman Donor Fund, Morton salt, Peter Welles, Fish Foundation, Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, Spring Point Partners, Walmart Foundation, Wiancko Charitable Foundation, and Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust. The Insights Engine was modeled with in-kind contributions from Deloitte and NielsenIQ.

To access Insights Engine, visit

To access the Roadmap to 2030, visit

About ReFED

ReFED is a national non-profit organization that works to end food loss and waste throughout the food system by providing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and knowledge to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to drive innovation and scale up high impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts and makes the best use of the food we grow. For more information visit

Contact: Melody Serafino, [email protected]


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