Let’s cut food waste

Federal government is calling for action this month

In the United States, a great deal of the food produced goes uneaten. According to information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than one-third of the food Americans might have consumed ends up discarded or lost for other reasons.

To reduce food loss and waste, April has been designated by President Donald Trump as Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month. The USDA, U.S. Environmental Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have joined forces to collaborate with members of the public as well as an assortment of public and private sector entities to find more and improved ways to reduce the waste of food.

“USDA alone cannot end food waste, it will require partners from across the supply chain working together on innovative solutions and consumer education,” Sonny Perdue, U.S. secretary of agriculture, said in a statement released by the USDA, EPA and FDA at the beginning of this month. “We need to feed our hungry world and by reducing food waste, we can more wisely use the resources we have.”

Redirecting food products that otherwise might be discarded to people in need or for animal consumption or the generation of energy are among the solutions being that are being explored by government officials and private sector researchers and analysts.

A major goal of this initiative is to decrease the amount of usable food that winds up in the nation’s trash collection and elimination sites. That beneficial outcome was stressed forcefully by U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

“We are working closely with our federal partners and stakeholders across the nation to reduce the amount of food going to landfills and maximize the value of our food resources,” he said.

A broad-ranging dialogue about solutions to food waste is a key part of the federal initiative being undertaken this month. The federal partners are working hard to stimulate conversation and communication about food waste by stakeholders in state and local governments and the community at large. Members of the public are being encouraged this month to share information about their efforts to address this issue at the #NoWastedFood hashtag and through social media posts. More information about assorted federal efforts to reduce food loss and waste is available online at www.usda.gov/foodlossandwaste — USDA’s Food Loss and Waste Website.

The Messenger applauds this excellent federal initiative. Our older readers will recall that there was a time in our nation when reminders to offspring by parents that food must not be wasted were commonplace. Today the ready availability of food is often taken for granted. Even so, it remains important that food resources not be squandered when they could be put to productive use. If the efforts during Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month stimulate more efficient resource use that would be an excellent outcome.