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Originally published October 6 2010

Want to conserve energy and resources? Stop wasting food

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Supporting renewable and alternative sources of energy, recycling and driving your car less, are a few commonly-known and practical ways to improve the quality of the environment and conserve valuable resources. But a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology has found that if Americans would simply stop wasting food, the nation could save the equivalent of 350 million barrels of oil a year.

Being a good food steward is never talked about in the mainstream media as a solution to the world's energy and environmental problems, but it is actually one of the simplest ways to make a significant impact, and it costs nothing. In fact, if more people stopped throwing away good food, they would actually save more money in the long run.

According to Michael Webber, Ph.D., and Amanda Cuellar from the University of Texas at Austin (UTA), authors of the study, up to 16 percent of the energy used in the U.S. in 2007 went towards food production. This includes food preparation, preservation, packaging and shipping. But according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American wastes roughly 27 percent of it, which is the equivalent of two percent of annual energy consumption in the U.S.

"The energy embedded in wasted food represents a substantial target for decreasing energy consumption in the U.S.," stated the authors in their paper. And the real figures are likely even higher that those given in the report, considering the data is both outdated and incomplete.

An earlier NaturalNews article from 2007 explained that food waste rates in the U.K. are even worse than in the U.S., estimated at roughly 30 percent.

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