FOOD LOSS IN THE UNITED STATES. Nearly a third of the food that made its way into the retail system for human consumption in the United States in 2010 was not eaten, according to the Economic Research Service of USDA. That’s 133 billion pounds of food, worth $161.6 billion. This chart shows the weight of different food varieties that went to waste at the retail or consumer level in 2010. The largest category was dairy products, followed closely by vegetables.