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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Johns Hopkins: Wasted Food Means Wasted Nutrients

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future calculated the nutritional value of food wasted in the United States at the retail and consumer levels, shining a light on just how much protein, fiber and other important nutrients end up in the landfill in a single year.

These lost nutrients are important for healthy diets, and some — including, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamin D — are currently consumed below recommended levels. Nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, seafood and dairy products are wasted at disproportionately high rates.

Previous research estimated that as much as 40 percent of food is wasted nationally, but it wasn’t clear before this study how nutritious that food was. While not all wasted food is consumable, a sizeable amount is, leaving researchers and policymakers looking for ways to minimize the amount of good food that gets tossed as millions of Americans go hungry, do not get enough nutrients or do not have access to healthy food options. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency have set a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

The findings appeared online May 15 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read more: http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2017/wasted-food-means-wasted-nutrients.html