Food Waste Reduction and Recovery

  • Contact: Aaron Hiday, HidayA@Michigan.gov, 517-282-7546

    EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy

    Each day in the US approximately one pound of food per person is wasted.

    Today, it is estimated that 1/3 of ALL the food produced in the world goes to waste. This equals 103 million tons (81.4 billion pounds) of food waste generated in America in 2017, or between 30-40 percent of the food supply, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This means that either these products never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away once purchased. This could be enough to feed every undernourished person ON THE PLANET. Reducing food waste would reduce the impact of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Michigan has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and reducing food waste would help Michiganders reach this goal.

    The Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes actions that can be taken to prevent and divert wasted foods.

    The top levels of the hierarchy are the best ways to prevent and divert wasted foods because they create the most benefits for the environment, society, and the economy.