This article originally appeared on LearnVest.com.
How’s this for an astonishing statistic: 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted. At first glance, it’s easy to interpret this to mean that we’re talking about food that consumers and restaurants throw away. Upon further investigation, though, I found that the number represents all food produced in the U.S. that is wasted somewhere between farm and table. That’s billions of dollars of food never consumed, not to mention 40 trillion liters of water used in food processing that goes down the drain, according to a Stockholm International Water Institute study. Let’s not forget the methane created when perishables just sit in landfills, either. In order to figure out if you’re part of the problem, think about your own practices.
Here’s how to not only reduce waste, but save thousands of household dollars each year.