Food statistics can have a way of zeroing in on our collective eating Zeitgeist with uncomfortable data points.

For example, U.S. consumers waste up to 50 percent more food than Americans did in the 1970s, according to National Institutes of Health.

And if you’re assuming restaurants and farming are the sole culprits of food and agricultural waste, consider that a U.S. family of four discards around $1,500 a year on food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Decades ago, fresh food was less desirable, and even perceived as dangerous. You reached for a salted piece of fish or meat. Frozen food wasn’t a pariah. Over the years, fresh food has become widely available and almost idealized objects — proof of better eating and living than prior generations. From kale to quinoa, a grain high in protein, it seems every crop wants to be the next big, super food hero.

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