If You Want To Be Healthier, Eat Your Trash
One man’s trash is another man’s vitamin-rich meal.
It’s long been known that we throw out a ridiculous amount of edible food in the United States. But a new report from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has uncovered just how many critical nutrients we’re discarding with our trash. What’s particularly concerning is that these are the very nutrients most Americans ― both rich and poor ― aren’t getting enough of.
“Wasted food in the U.S. contains a staggering amount of nutrients, especially nutrients that we tend to under-consume,” Marie Spiker, one of the study’s authors, said in a video released alongside the report.
In 2012, the amount of food Americans discarded was enough to provide 2,000 calories a day to 84 percent of the country’s adult population, according to the report. That same year, 15.9 percent of Americans struggled to buy food at times, per the Department of Agriculture.
On top of this problem, the new report finds, Americans aren’t getting the recommended intake of certain nutrients including dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.
“Some of the most important foods for people to eat are relatively low in calories,” Roni Neff, another author of the report, added. “Looking at items like vitamin D or fiber really help get a picture of the foods that we need to consume more of that are going right into the landfill.”
The authors of the report analyzed two data sets from the USDA to calculate the nutritional value of food waste at retail and consumer levels in 2012.
Here’s what they noticed about fiber, for example: The […]