Americans throw out 14% of their food, with the costs of junk food and waste costing the economy US$200bn a year.

University of Arizona professor Timothy Jones says too many Americans subsist on fast food, not viewing food as a source of nourishment, but as a commodity to be consumed.

His study with the US Department of Agriculture showed more than 51 million tonnes of edible food were wasted in 2003, with retailers and restaurants discarding over 35 million tonnes. Convenience stores offering more fresh and prepared foods consequently threw more (26%) of these foods in the garbage. The average American household dumps 576g of edible food daily – not including table scraps – with vegetables making up 27%, and packaged foods in original containers constituting 14 percent.