As one of the richest nations in the industrialized word, the U.S. wastes an estimated 40% of all food. If we reduced that number by just 15% we could feed half of the nearly 50 million Americans, 15 million of them children that go hungry every single day. Landmark legislation was recently introduced to combat hunger and reduce food waste, but it needs help getting Congress’ attention.
The bill to curb food waste includes a provision that would reform the “sell by” date most of our food is marked with. We all know that food is still safe and healthy often far past that date — sometimes even years later — but these dates are set by manufacturers, some of whom are looking to turn a profit by selling more product when you throw yours away. And then there is over-protection due to liability.
Rep. Chellie Pingree’s Food Recovery Act petition to the U.S. Congress says that we can reduce food waste and feed millions of Americans. Will you sign it?
You could help stop the 133 billion pounds of food that is thrown away by grocery stores, farms, restaurants, schools, and businesses every year. Even the food thrown away in your own home could help stop the senseless filling of municipal waterways and landfills with trash.
The cost of this food waste to the American public is enormous: $160 billion a year of wasted food, amounting to about $125 a month for an average family, can be stopped. Roughly 20 percent of landfills in America are filled, tragically, with food waste.
According to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, wasted food “accounts for an estimated 35% of freshwater consumption, 31% percent of cropland, and 30% of fertilizer usage; as well as 2% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.”
One provision of the legislation has already passed the House, but given the dysfunction in Washington and resistance from food manufacturers, getting this bill passed will be difficult without your activism.
If you read Natural Society and believe in healthy food for all people, you can make a difference.