While agricultural producers are searching for ways to feed a growing world population, a key number to consider is the amount of food that goes to waste, 4.1 billion pounds by food manufacturers according to one study.

The study from the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association is the first comprehensive assessment of food waste data provided by the food industry.

A review of 2011 numbers shows companies disposed of 4.1 billion pounds of food, about 20 pounds of food per person each month for a whole year. The total is divided among the manufacturing sector (2.4 billion pounds wasted) and retail and wholesale sectors (1.7 pounds wasted). Those numbers don’t account for the amount of food thrown out by consumers.