EPA Urges Public to Reduce Food Waste
With more than 37 million tons of food being wasted each year, the EPA is encouraging families, school, businesses, and more to help reduce that amount of food waste with the Sustainable Management of Food program.
Each year, Americans throw out more than 37 million tons (74 billion pounds) of food. Of that 37 million tons, only 5 percent is diverted from landfills and used for composting. That’s why the EPA is asking the public to use the Sustainable Management of Food program to help reduce to amount of food that we waste.
“Let’s feed people, not landfills. 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” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Today’s announcement presents a major environmental, social and public health opportunity for the U.S., and we’re proud to be part of a national effort to reduce the food that goes into landfills.”
Currently, 31 percent of the nation’s food is thrown away. A lot of that waste can be used to feed those who need it, and the rest can be used for compost. By reducing the waste, resources such as water can be saved, nutrients can be returned to the soil, and methane from landfills can be greatly diminished. Recovering safe and healthy food can help feed the homeless, poor, and kids. There are food rescue organizations, such as Feeding America, that can use the food we don’t want.
“The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on earth, but too much of this food goes to waste,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “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.”
Earlier this week, the EPA created the first goals for the nation to cut its food waste in half by 2030.
For more information on these goals and the Sustainable Management of Food program, please click here.