Food waste has become a prevalent problem not only in the United States, but throughout the world. In a report issued in 2012, the Natural Resources Defense Council states that 40 percent of food in the United States becomes waste. In Iowa alone, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports that food waste is the #1 most prevalent disposed material in the landfill accounting for 14% of all municipally-landfilled waste.
Reduction and diversion strategies can help to lower the amount of food wasted and avoid it from going to the landfill. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's Food Recovery Hierarchy lists source reduction as the most preferred method followed by diverting waste to feed hungry people, feed animals, provide industrial uses, compost, and finally, as a last resort, send it to an incineration or landfill.