SACRAMENTO, CA - A good portion of food goes from the supermarket to your dinner table and then to the garbage can.
A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that American families throw out nearly half of the food they buy.
The council found a family of four squanders $2,275 on food per year; that's 20 pounds of food per person per month.
"I've worked in factories handling food and they throw so much away," Sacramento resident Melanie Pardo said. "I worked in catering departments where they have thrown so much away."
"We keep our food leftovers, kid's lunches, husband's lunches, so we try to use everything," Pardo's daughter Michelle Lopez said.
Pardo and her daughter come to the Sacramento Food Bank for fruits and vegetables. The bank tries to show families ways to save leftovers to keep from wasting food.
"We know that it is an uphill battle that some people don't know what to do with all the produce, so we really want them to ask questions to keep the food from the garbage" food bank employee Erik Kintzel said.
"You know, no matter how sustainable we grow our food, if we are not actually eating, it is terrible use of our resources," Natural Resources Defense Council spokesperson Dana Gunders said.
The new report said Americans are throwing out nearly every other bite of food.
"We can start in our own refrigerator by making sure we are using up what's in there," Gunders said. "Also, by planning our shopping wisely in supermarkets, I'd love to see adjusted promotion, instead of buy one get one free for a gallon of milk, who can drink two gallons of milk. In the United Kingdom, they are experimenting with other promotions like buy one get one later."