NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Today marks the start of Food Waste Awareness Week in Tennessee. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Matt Taylor joins Nickelle Smith in the News 2 studio with more on the effort to decrease food waste in the Volunteer State.

Taylor says on average 40% of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten every year leading to large amounts of food waste. 

“If food waste was its own country, it would be the third-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions behind the U.S. and China,” said Taylor, “The average family of four is estimated to lose about $1,500 per year in food that goes uneaten and ultimately to waste.” 

Food waste is not only an environmental issue, but Taylor says the waste can contribute greatly to creating financial issues as well. 

“It impacts households and families and our economy at large with an estimated $218 billion per year in economic losses associated with food waste,” said Taylor. 

To learn tips and methods for decreasing food waste in Tennessee click here.