Simple Acts to Reduce Food Waste, by Marikay Shellman, NFBPWC Environment and Sustainable Development Committee (2022-2024)
A dismal fact: While 1 in 8 Americans- including over 10 million children- suffer from food insecurity every day, we throw away nearly 80 billion pounds of food every year; about $2500 for a family of four of food is tossed into the garbage yearly. (www.foodprint.org). Most of this food waste ends up in landfills contributing to 11% of greenhouse gas emissions, methane, carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons & nitrogen pollutions. This waste adds to the energy & resources it takes to produce this food- water, land, soil, labor, processing, & transportation. We consumers are the #1 source of wasted food (www.nrdc.org). What Simple Acts can we make?
The good news is that several states are actively curbing food waste by passing laws that restrict the amount of food waste going into landfills (CA, CN, MS, NY, RI & VT). Vermont’s “Universal Recycling Law” bans food scrap waste entirely which has increased by 40% food donations to Vermont Foodbanks. CA, CO, & MS fund private sector composting & food collection programs. MA & RI introduced legislation to reduce the amount of food waste in schools. Thank your legislators if you live in one of these states.
USDA & EPA set a goal to reduce food waste by half by 2030. (www.rts.com)
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