This site investigates the claim: FACT CHECK: Does 40 Percent Of Food In The US Never Get Eaten? FACT CHECK: Does 40 Percent Of Food In The US Never Get Eaten? It is worth reading just to get their numbers straight. Note that most of the research is not current, being up to a decade old. Still, there is a lot of wastage in our food system. That contributes to higher end cost to the consumer. Consider that much of our commercial food production system, Farm to Factory to Consumer, involves a lot of selective sorting of foods before it reaches the Consumer. Much of the food which does not meet the specs for either canning or raw vegetable sales, is either recycled or thrown out. For example: Inspections | FoodSafety.gov Go to a local farmers market and look at the vegetables being offered. Ask yourself if that food would pass the inspections to make it into our supermarket/grocery stores? I would certainly buy vegetables which are not "pretty" and which have visible spots. As a Prepper, my own food plans DO include using foods which probably would never pass the rules and regulations for commercial food processing. That means that my own waste will (hopefully) be much smaller and will be returned to the garden/livestock feed cycle.