Anyone who has been to a restaurant -- or even a family dinner table -- knows that a lot of food gets wasted, but a new report found that half of the food produced in the world goes to waste.
The reasons are many -- from poor harvesting, storing and transportation to irresponsible retailer behavior and personal waste.
The world produces about 4 billion metric tons of food annually, but a newly-released report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers estimates between 1.2 and 2 billion of is never eaten.
Considering that the world will have to feed 8 billion people in just 30 years and 9.5 billion by 2050, the amount of waste is of serious concern.
The numbers break down like this:
30 percent of what is harvested from fields never reaches stores due to trimming, quality selection and failure to conform to cosmetic criteria
30-50 percent of what is bought in developed companies is thrown away by consumers -- often because of poor understanding of "best before" and "used by" dates.
A "use by" date implies there is a health risk associated with using food after the given date; however, a "best before" date is a reflection of quality. After the date passes, the food is not necessarily harmful, but it may lose flavor and texture.
So, what can be done? FOX 9 News spoke with Bob Branham, founder of a food waste mitigation company and the former co-chair of the U.S. Food Industry Food Waste Coalition, to learn what consumers can do at home and how waste affects the market.