The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have established a food waste education initiative, which aims to reduce food waste levels throughout the US.
Called the Winning on Reducing Food Waste initiative, the programme will aim to improve the coordination and communication between federal agencies attempting to educate American consumers about the impact and the importance of reducing food waste.
A report released by the FDA claims that between 30-40% of food sold at retail level in the US is wasted, and a study published by the USDA’s Economic Research Service estimated that $161 billion worth of food was wasted in 2010 alone.
The reports also states that wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills throughout the US.
US secretary of agriculture Sonny Perdue said: “An unacceptable percentage of our food supply is lost or wasted. As the world’s population continues to grow and the food systems continue to evolve, now is the time for action to educate consumers and businesses alike on the need for food waste reduction.
“I am pleased to be joined by my Trump Administration colleagues on this important, common sense issue. The future of food depends on action from us now, which is why we have established this formal partnership among USDA, EPA, and FDA.”
EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler added: “EPA is proud to partner with USDA and FDA to enhance food recovery efforts and educate the public on the need for improved food waste management.
“Redirecting excess food to people, animals, or energy production has tremendous economic and social benefits, and that is why the Trump Administration is working closely with businesses and consumers to prevent food loss and maximise the inherent value of food.”
FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said: “Sadly, each day too many American families struggle to meet their nutritional needs and we at the FDA recognise the important role that reducing food waste can play in filling this critical gap.
“By taking steps to address obstacles that food donation and recovery programs may face in giving unsold foods a second opportunity and helping food producers find ways to recondition their products so that they can be safely sold or donated, our aim is to both reduce food waste and nourish Americans in need.”
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