Food Waste by State 2022


Vermont has one of the highest food waste per capita each year. On average, most Americans living in Vermont waste north of $1370 worth of groceries per person. The issue is extremely common, and not one that is born out of a lack of awareness. Vermont inhabitants rank very highly in their perception that food waste is prevalent in their society. This factor could be attributed to any number of issues. Firstly, Vermont is well situated between the New England region and the northern Canadian regions. Vermont enjoys no income tax, little fees, and many visitors to see the lush and beautiful mountains.

This natural attraction brings in visitors and locals that are more inclined to search for the finer things in life. This may contribute to a higher wastage of groceries, as the attention to improper conservation methods negatively affects spoilage.


Maine ranks second in food waste, and just like Vermont, it is not due to a lack of awareness. This New England state has everything that a stereotypical place of this region would have to offer - seafood, beautiful sights, crisp autumn weather, and frequent visitors. It is perhaps the former that is the problem. Seafood is notoriously difficult to preserve, and must always be served fresh. Furthermore, lobster and other seafood dishes are extremely popular with tourists, making this a prime attraction to open up new businesses, restaurants, and shops that center around the cuisine.

Due to this, it is very simple to see that a possible explanation is food spoilage in commercial kitchens. Serving up fresh catches of the day makes customers pickier than their residential counterparts. Whatever isn't eaten is considered expired if not preserved properly, and must be thrown out to avoid causing food sickness.


Hawaii, similar to Alaska, is a non-contiguous state, meaning it is separated from the rest of the continental United States, making it more difficult to obtain certain items. Strangely, this has caused both states to have a food spoilage problem, despite the cost of groceries and raw materials being higher. In the case of Hawaii, much of the explanation can be attributed to the higher cost of living and the citizens that this attracts. Hawaii is the most expensive place in terms of the cost of goods, which has increased the average debt considerably.

The economic classes are driven further apart by the cost of living, which would explain some of the food spoilage. For example, you must be extremely rich to live in wealthier neighborhoods in this state, and these households typically do not pay attention to every single item of food in their pantry or refrigerator. Another explanation could be the loss of imports. Because Hawaii is very disconnected from the supply chain that encapsulates most of the other states, there may be periods where certain food items are not available or are shipped in a less-than-desirable condition. Grocery stores only purchase what looks best, and toss the rest.

Food Waste by State 2022