In the United States, 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. Retail-level losses represented 10 percent (43 billion pounds) and consumer-level losses 21 percent (90 billion pounds) of the available food supply. (Losses on the farm and between the farm and retailer were not estimated due to data limitations for some of the food groups.)
The estimated total value of food loss at the retail and consumer levels in the United States was $161.6 billion in 2010. The top three food groups in terms of share of total value of food loss were meat, poultry, and fish (30 percent, $48 billion); vegetables (19 percent, $30 billion); and dairy products (17 percent, $27 billion). The total amount of food loss represents 387 billion calories (technically, we mean Calorie or kcal hereafter) of food not available for human consumption per day in 2010, or 1,249 out of 3,796 calories available per American per day. Recovery costs, food safety considerations, and other factors would reduce the amount of food that could actually be recovered for human consumption.
Jean C. Buzby, Hodan Farah Wells, and Jeffrey Hyman, "The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States," Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-121), ERS USDA, February 2014 http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib-economic-information-bulletin/e...