An Introduction to Food Waste in America

Be honest: do you ever feed your dog leftovers? 🙋‍♀️There’s no shame in that! In fact, by feeding your dog scraps, you’re helping solve a massive problem in the US: food waste.

Did you know that 30 to 40 percent of food produced in the US ends up landfills? It’s a staggering percent, especially when you also consider that 1 in every 7 Americans is food insecure. 

Why are we wasting so much food? Food can spoil at any point along the supply chain: in production, post-production, in transit, sitting on retail shelves, and — often — right in your pantry. Almost half of the food that is wasted is actually thrown out by consumers. 😱 

As a country, we’re losing about $640 billion dollars each year by wasting almost half of our food. But food waste is not just money down the drain. There is a serious environmental impact in overproducing, over-buying and over-wasting. If the wasted food in America were its own country, it would be the third-largest producer of greenhouses gases in the world, after China and the US.  

The numbers may be daunting, but there are some simple, effective solutions!

1. Be Shameless!

Every bag of Shameless Dog Treats is made of 40% “upcycled” ingredients. We partner with food producers from lobstermen to apple cider makers to rescue perfectly healthy food that would otherwise be going to the landfill and make it into tasty dog treats! This means you and your dog can help solve food waste one “Sit,” “Shake,” and “Rollover” at a time. 


2. Change your buying (and cooking) habits

You may not realize how much food (and money) you’re wasting right in your own home. This week, take stock of what food is ending up in your trash can. Next week, think of ways to reduce how much is being thrown away, either by buying less, composting or repurposing scraps and leftovers for new meals.

3. Learn about expiration dates

Little known secret: Expiration, “best by” and “use by” dates usually have little to do with when something is safe to eat, but rather when items are in their peak quality. Always avoid something with funky odors or furry spots, but know that the dates stamped on your food are simply suggestions. If you don't think you'll have time to cook something before it starts to go bad, throw it in the freezer!

4. Support local food rescues

Learn about local efforts near you to divert food waste from restaurants and grocery stores to those in need and see how you can help.

5. Go ahead—feed your dog some leftovers. 😉

As long as you avoid chocolate, onion, grapes and some other doggy no-no’s, we won’t tell anyone!