The Value of Retail- and Consumer-Level Fruit and Vegetable Losses in the United States

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  • The views expressed here are those of the authors and cannot be attributed to the Economic Research Service or the US Department of Agriculture.

Abstract

Food loss at the retail and consumer levels in the United States includes 14.8 billion pounds of fruit and 23.4 billion pounds of vegetables, valued at $15.1 billion and $27.7 billion, respectively, in 2008 retail market prices. The total value of these losses is $42.8 billion per year, or roughly $141 per capita. To most efficiently reduce the annual food loss, it may be beneficial to focus efforts on the four fruits (fresh apples, grapes, peaches and strawberries) and four vegetables (fresh and canned tomatoes and fresh and frozen potatoes) that have the greatest amount of loss.

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