Rethink Food Waste: 27 Opportunities to Benefit Economically

The U.S. spends $218 billion each year (that’s 1.3% of the our GDP) growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten (52 million tons sent to landfill and 10 million tons left to rot in fields). Food waste consumes 18% of all cropland, 19% of all fertilizeer, 21% of all fresh water and 21% of landfill volume. The Drawdown Project’s research team has determined that reducing food waste is the most significant way we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, capable of stopping 87-95 billion tons of carbon from entering our atmosphere over the next 30 years.

Now a network of business, nonprofit, foundation, and government leaders have come together to take a data-driven approach to solving our national food waste problem. This multi-stakeholder non-profit, ReFED, has identified 27 of the best opportunities to reduce food waste through a detailed economic analysis. These solutions are analyzed using the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy, which prioritizes prevention first, then recovery, and finally recycling. 

ReFED’s economic analysis has created a roadmap that makes it easier for consumers and stakeholders across the food supply chain to look beyond the challenges and identify solid opportunities to save money and resources, feed people, and create jobs. Each of the 27 Food Waste Solutions provide hard numbers including Financial Benefits, GHG Reductions and Water Saved. Solutions can be sorted by:


You can take action on these savings and solutions as an individual, business or community. See the detailed economic analysis at or download their Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste.

Visit →