Do you clean your plate?
Many of us don’t, with food loss and waste chowing through nearly 40% of the U.S. food supply, according to USDA. Consumers are responsible for almost 90 billion pounds of food waste and loss each year, which equates to about 20% of the U.S. food supply. The retail sector wastes another 43 billion pounds of food annually, about 10% of the nation’s food supply.
USDA is uniquely positioned to address this problem by working with farmers, industry and consumers to raise food loss and food waste awareness issues. To kick off the process, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue hosted a food waste roundtable with Reps. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and David Young, R-iowa, food industry leaders, and non-profit groups at USDA May 8.
“Our nation’s agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash,” Perdue said. “So many people work on food waste issues in their own spheres, but it’s time to change the culture and adopt a holistic approach to get everyone working together and sharing ideas. I commend Reps. Pingree and Young for addressing this issue on Capitol Hill and for their desire to find collaborative, commonsense solutions. USDA remains committed to helping reduce food waste, and we are excited to work with all stakeholders from farm to fork to further elevate this effort and fulfill our motto, to ‘Do right and feed everyone.’”
Below is a full list of the food waste roundtable participants:
- Rep. Pingree
- Rep. Young
- Haley Swartz, National Consumers League
- Regina Northouse, Food Recovery Network
- Katie Sandson, Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic
- Matt Knott, Feeding America
- Jon Hixson, YUM! Brands Inc
- Jessica Montoya, Sodexo
- Kyle Waide, Atlanta Community Food Bank
- Brett Reinford, Reinford Farms, PA
- Mace Thornton, American Farm Bureau Federation
- Ricky Ashenfelter, Spoiler Alert
- Kai Robertson, World Resources Institute
- Source: USDA