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Americans waste the most food

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A new report shows American are throwing out nearly every third bite of food, wasting up to 20 pounds of food per person every month.

"We just buy, buy, buy," said Northwest D.C. resident Hayley Markovich. "...after we're done with it, we just get rid of what we don't want. I mean, why don't you use all of it? That's what we got it for."

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study found Americans waste up to 40 percent of the country's food supply each year. The average family throws out $2,275 each year.

Dr. Jennifer Sass with the Natural Resources Defense Council said, "When we taking about wasting food, we're not only talking about wasting food that other people need, we're also talking about wasting our money. Think about your annual food bill. Can you afford those several thousands of dollars to be throwing away?

The NRDC reports U.S. consumers lead the world in wasting food, throwing away far more than Europeans and trashing 10 times as much food as people in Southeast Asia.

Canada native Fatima Lopez says there's a good reason why Americans are so wasteful.

"At supermarkets, the portions are bigger. Everything is bigger here," Lopez explained.

The NRDC agrees with Lopez. The agency says portion sizes in the U.S. are "two to eight times larger than the government’s standard serving sizes."

While the council says the government can make adjustments to the food industry to help prevent food waste, consumers can also do there part.

The NRDC suggests the following:

• Plan meals for the week ahead of time.
• Make a shopping list before going to the grocery store.
• Avoid impulse buys and advertisement ploys that get you to buy multiple perishable items. If the food goes bad, the deal may work out to be more expensive in the long run.
• Educate yourself on the difference between "Use by" and "Sell by". The NRDC says the government does not regulate the labels. The agency says many times the dates are a "suggestion for peak quality," expect in the case of some baby foods.

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