Skip Navigation
Office of the Chief Economist
United States Department of Agriculture

Food Waste Images

2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum Content Title

USDA hosted a “Wasted Food” exhibit at the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum that took place in February.  The table featured food samples like cookies, fruit & vegetable wraps, 100% fruit bars, and carrot chips made from food items that would have normally been thrown away.  USDA Agricultural Research Service is working with companies & farmers to develop these products not only to reduce food waste, but to also generate new sources of income and jobs for those communities.  For food that is not fit for human consumption, the exhibit featured plastics and clothing products made from food waste.  Ford Motor Company showed samples of their tomato plastic made from the tomato pomace (leftover pulpy material) of the Heinz ketchup making process.  This tomato plastic is used in the interior of some Ford cars.  The clothes on display at the exhibit were made from coffee grounds or coconut coir, waste items that would have normally been sent to a landfills by the millions of tons. The U.S. Food Waste Challenge wants to showcase these innovations and collaborations to show how much economic opportunity there is in reducing, recovering, and recycling wasted food.

workshop panel 2 people eating cookies Tara talking in panel Reduce Food Waste poster Man with youth football padding made from cconut picture of Mike Durando speaking in panel
Lady eating cookie Ketchup bottle Man writing on poster Ford display at Forum Display of clothing made from food waste Elise golan working at Food Waste table
Elise and friend at Food Waste table Food Waste cookies display Lady looking at a bag of cookies made from Food Waste Chips made from carrots    


Society of Saint Andrew

In Tennessee, tons of perfectly good green beans are discarded because they are too short or too long for standard packaging. Here, a truckload of those beans has been dropped into a lot where Society of St. Andrew volunteers bag them up. Food pantries will pick up the bags before the morning is done.  Learn more about how your organization can donate or glean at  

Photo: 40,000 lbs. of potatoes are dropped off for delivery to food kitchens and food pantries. Photo: A Harvest of Hope in Florida gathers citrus for delivery to food pantries in Fl. and nearby states. Photo: In Tennessee, green beans that are too short too long for standard packaging are dropped into a lot where SoSA volunteers bag them up. Photo: Harvest of Hope campers pick corn to be distributed to the hungry. Photo: Harvest of Hope campers gather sweet potatoes. Family gathers apples to feed the hungry.
Photo: In Virginia, a young volunteer gathers eggplants for delivery to a food bank. Photo: Society of Saint Andrew  volunteers deliver sweet potatoes to be bagged for distribution to local food pantries.        

USDA Employees Go Gleaning to Support Feds Feed Families Campaign

USDA Food and Nutrition Service employees planned a gleaning event at Miller Farm in Clinton, MD on July 17 to support USDA’s Feds Feed Families campaign, which since its inception in 2009 has donated 24.1 million pounds of food to low-income families.  Zack Huhn from the Mid Atlantic Gleaning Network helped organize the event with the USDA employees . 

Photo:Employees pose for a picture before picking collard greens for a local food bank. Photo: Boxes are gathered to be filled with collard greens. Photo: Patrick Kelley and Reginald Alexander pick collard greens at Miller Farms in Clinton, Maryland. Photo: Jamie Garrett with her dughter and niece pick collard greens at Miller Farms in Clinton, Maryland. Photo: Nicole Budzius picks colard greens. Reginald Alexander and David Novitsky carrying bags of collard greens.

Oakland Zoo Animals Do their Part To Reduce Food Waste

The animals at the Oakland Zoo received some unusual treats after a delivery truck carrying exotic fruit like prickly-skinned jack fruit and Thai bananas crashed and spilled an estimated $50,000 worth of product on a highway. The prickly-skinned jack fruit can cost up to $35 at some grocery stores. Some of the food was also donated to the Alameda County Food Bank in Oakland.

At the zoo, some of the animals like the elephants were reluctant to try the new food, but the bears did not hesitate to eat it. There was so much food donated to the zoo that the keepers froze a lot of it for future use. Full ArticlePhotos by Erin Harrison, Oakland Zoo

Photo: Zookeepers unloading the donated jack fruit and bananas. Photo: Osh, an African elephant, initally reluctant to try the jack fruit. Photo: Zookeeper Elizabeth Abrams checking out the donated Thai bananas. Photo: Bears having no problem trying the jack fruit. Photo: A zoo keeper lets the giraffes try donated bananas.