What are the causes of food waste?

The three biggest sources of food waste in America are production and supply, our tendency to over-purchase, and the unrealistic aesthetic standards we've come to expect from our fruits and vegetables. These factors have resulted in an estimated $161 billion in food waste each year, with the average American family of four throwing out $1,500 in food each year. The United States currently leads the world in food waste generation, with the majority of discarded food ending up in landfills. Food waste is the most common substance in landfills in the United States, accounting for 24.1 percent of all municipal solid waste, according to the EPA.