By Mike Pomranz
Updated August 16, 2016
food waste, waste
Credit: © Martin Leigh/Getty Images

Everyone loves talking about how much they hate food waste. But here’s the thing: Much like preventing forest fires, reducing food waste starts with you. (Has anyone considered creating a loveable food waste bear?) However, outside of laying blame on professional eaters, targeting individual food wasters can be tricky. But though we can’t name names, thanks to the power of statistics, we can breakdown food waste by state and then lay blame upon the faceless people who live on the other side of our state lines.

According to the Huffington Post, that’s what the company Hloom decided to do, surveying 2,000 households across the country “about their financial waste” and then breaking down these people’s wasteful food habits by state. The statistics are specifically broken down into two categories: “Meal waste” and “grocery waste.”

If you believe Hloom’s methodology, Mississippi takes the cake (and then ostensibly throws it out) when it comes to topping food waste in both categories. 14 percent of groceries and 11.6 percent of meals end up in the trash in the southern state according to the Mississippians surveyed. Rounding out the top five with grocery waste are:

2. Nebraska
3. Alabama
4. Maryland
5. Tennessee

The rest of the top five when it comes to meal waste are:

2. Delaware
3. New Mexico
4. Nebraska
5. Connecticut

That means outside of Mississippi, Nebraska is the only state other that appears near the top of both lists.

Of course, keep in mind that this info is collected from surveying residents; it’s not official data gathered directly from landfill sites or anything like that. Even if the data was 100 percent sound, it’s not like Mississippi’s numbers are that out of line with the rest of the country. Instead, if there is any benefit to seeing the numbers broken down by state, it’s that – as I mentioned above – the more these numbers hit closer to home, the easier it can be for us to relate to them. And remember none of the 50 states have zero food waste. So we can all do our part. Though Mississippi especially. Or so says the hypothetical Trashy the Food Waste Bear.