I read a rather alarming statistic yesterday that the average American throws out 25% of the food s/he purchases. I find that deeply upsetting. I hate to waste food. But I'm wondering exactly what people are throwing away. I've placed a moratorium on the purchase of bean sprouts, because I never eat them before the rot. I also throw out herbs a lot (the last third of a bunch of parsley), single lemons or limes, bread ends that mold before I get a chance to turn them into crumbs, and milk and cream.
That's about it. I eat my leftovers, and usually manage to use up vegetables in time.
But I do know people who can't stand the thought of leftovers and never manage to eat them. I also know people who decide they are going to save money by cooking, buy a bunch of food, get overwhelmed, then toss it all. But 25% still seems high, particularly given our pre-packaged, single-portion-sized world.