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Fund infrastructure that measures, recycles, and thwart food waste from being dumped in landfills or incinerated.
Find ways to formalize donating surplus food and fortify local supply chains.
Make the US government a model of food waste management globally.
Promote private and public food waste avoidance campaigns that can educate consumers.
Enforce a national date labeling standard, so consumers can determine more accurately when food has spoiled.
Why This Matters: The statistics paint a sobering picture of how dire the food waste crisis has become. $408 billion worth of food — 2% of the US GDP — is wasted, and less than ten percent of this excess food is donated. According to statistics from Northwestern University, 1 in 4 households have experienced food insecurity last year, or 23% of households. Black and Latino families are twice as likely as white families to face food insecurity, those without high school degrees experienced food insecurity at 27%, and adults with disabilities experience twice the rate of food insecurity as adults without them — making this an environmental justice issue as well.
Should the federal government take into consideration this report’s recommendations, it would be an opportunity to take meaningful action on hunger and food waste alike.
Pete Pearson, Senior Director of Food Loss and Waste at WWF, told Our Daily Planet: “Immediately removing food and organic waste from our landfills will have a direct impact by reducing GHG emissions. More importantly, the food system carries an incredibly high carbon footprint when we consider farming, transportation, refrigeration and disposal. When we work to measure and prevent food waste, along with creating a more circular system where unavoidable food waste is turned into energy or compost, we create a system that can be in better balance with nature. Nothing is wasted in nature.”
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