U.S. Agencies Unveil National Strategy to Cut Food Waste and Boost Recycling

Healthy foodImage via Pixabay

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a concerted effort to address climate change, food insecurity, and environmental justice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have launched the “National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics.” This initiative is part of President Biden’s broader approach to creating a sustainable and circular economy.

The strategy, introduced today, outlines clear goals that government agencies, retailers, and consumers can pursue to minimize food loss and waste. It also emphasizes recycling organic materials, which supports a circular economy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The plan aims to save money for households and businesses and create cleaner, healthier communities. This effort is a key component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which was unveiled during the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022.

FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf emphasized the agency’s commitment to the new strategy, stating, “The FDA is committed to completing the actions outlined in the National Strategy that incentivize and encourage food loss and waste prevention and organics recycling.” He highlighted the resources available to support these efforts, including the 2022 Food Code, Tips to Reduce Food Waste, and the Food Loss and Waste Social Media Toolkit. These tools aim to guide and accelerate efforts by consumers and retailers to reduce food waste.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack voiced the USDA’s dedication to the cause. “USDA is committed to reducing food loss and waste, facilitating many programs and activities to assist farmers, producers, communities, and businesses,” said Vilsack. He noted that the strategy aims to cut the nation’s food loss and waste by 50% by 2030. Vilsack expressed hope that federal commitments would inspire similar actions in the private sector and local communities across the country.

READ:  Invasive Box Tree Moth Found in Delaware: Immediate Action Required

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan underscored the economic and environmental stakes of food waste. “Each year, too much food produced in the United States ends up in landfills instead of on dining room tables. This hurts our economy by raising the cost of food and contributing to climate pollution,” said Regan. He described the new strategy as a comprehensive set of actions to reduce waste, protect the environment, improve food security, and save money for families and businesses.

The strategy focuses on four main objectives:

  1. Prevent food loss: Actions aimed at reducing food loss in the supply chain from farm to table.
  2. Prevent food waste: Measures to minimize waste at the consumer and retail levels.
  3. Increase the recycling rate for all organic waste: Efforts to boost the recycling of organic materials, including food scraps.
  4. Support policies that incentivize and encourage the prevention of food loss and waste and organics recycling: Creating and promoting policies that support these goals.

Each federal agency—the FDA, USDA, and EPA—will undertake specific actions to achieve these objectives. The comprehensive strategy aims to motivate collective action across all levels of society, emphasizing that everyone has a role in addressing these issues.

Reducing food loss and waste is crucial not only for environmental sustainability but also for economic stability and public health. When food waste is minimized, fewer resources are wasted, and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. This contributes to a healthier planet and more resilient communities. The strategy represents a significant step toward building a sustainable future where food systems are efficient, inclusive, and environmentally friendly.

READ:  FDA Revises Guidance on User Fees for Combination Products

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.