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Quiz: How Much Food Do We Waste?

Test your knowledge and find out how small changes can have a big impact.

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Spills, spoilage, table scraps, and other losses from the typical American family of four add up to 1,160 pounds of uneaten food annually. The Waldt family of New Jersey are surrounded by groceries representing the $2,500 of food the average family leaves uneaten every year. The food was later donated to a nonprofit.


The rampant problem of food waste gets worse throughout the last two months of each year. WorldWatch Institute estimates that the U.S. creates three times as much food waste during the holiday season. The overall statistics don't look much better: An average family tosses out $2,500 worth of food in a year, while the average person throws out around 20 pounds of food in a month.

Why does it matter? In addition to all the people who go hungry as a result of unequal food distribution, there's a climate change element too. Take the quiz below to learn more, and see the tips below the quiz to find out what you can do to help.

The last question of the quiz provides a starting point for steps you can take to reduce food waste in your life. This graphic, which was featured in National Geographic magazine's March 2016 story "How ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger," adds even more options to the list. Check out these tips for how to reorganize your fridge and reduce your food waste. And this holiday season, try new ways to save food after big meals—like the Thanksgiving feast that awaits you on Thursday.

This article is part of our Urban Expeditions series, an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies to the National Geographic Society.