Tuesday, March 31, 2020

EPA announces food loss reduction goal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the first-ever food waste reduction goal for the country - 50 percent by 2030.

The goal was announced last week by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

To achieve the goal, the federal government will collaborate with charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments. Initiatives will help these bodies reduce food loss and waste, which will lead to better overall food security and protection of the nation's natural resources.

The announcement was timely, as this week the United Nations General Assembly in New York will address sustainable development practices.

"Let's feed people, not landfills," McCarthy said. "By reducing wasted food in landfills, we cut harmful methane emissions that fuel climate change, conserve our natural resources, and protect our planet for future generations."

Vilsack agreed.

"The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on earth, but too much of this food goes to waste," Vilsack said. "This announcement demonstrates America's leadership on a global level in getting wholesome food to people who need it, efficient use of natural resources, cutting environmental pollution and promoting innovative approaches for reducing food loss and waste."

Food loss and waste in the United States accounts for approximately 31 percent, or 133 billion pounds, of the overall food supply available to retailers and consumers. It is the largest part of disposed municipal solid waste in the nation and accounts for a major percentage of methane emissions.

It is estimatd that a 15 percent reduction in food losses would feed 25 million Americans each year.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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