Here's a scenario lots of us can relate to: tossing a bag of lettuce because it sat too long in the back of the fridge.
It doesn't take a long time for greens to turn to slime.
Bag by bag, this waste adds up. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the typical American family throws out about $1,600 worth of food each year. And what we consumers toss out is just the last step in a long chain of waste.
Food is lost on farms, during processing and trucking. Supermarkets toss out unsold food.
We were curious about this downstream waste — the part of the food supply chain that's largely hidden from consumers.
And we wondered how the fast-growing, packaged produce and salads category — which is expected to approach $7 billion in sales by 2018 — might contribute to waste.
In the Salinas Valley of California — known as America's salad bowl — we visited the municipal dump. The fertile strip of land surrounding the town of Salinas produces an estimated 70 percent of U.S. salad greens.
Read more here.