Food Shift, a nonprofit organization that works to find sustainable solutions to reduce food waste, has started a petition that we’re enthusiastically supporting. It’s an appeal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to approve and fund “Food: Too Good to Waste,” a comprehensive toolkit designed to help communities across the country reduce the amount of food they lose and waste. The toolkit is already developed, and the EPA has expressed support for it, but it is still waiting for approval.
According to Food Shift, “EPA approval and funding would allow Food: Too Good to Waste to launch a national coordinated campaign on Earth Day on April 22, 2014. Love Food Hate Waste, a food waste initiative in the United Kingdom, utilized a similar approach, alongside the work of civic society organizations, to achieve a reduction in food waste by 21 percent since 2007.”
Food is indeed too good to waste, and reducing food waste in the United States by 50% by 2035 is one of our core missions. Currently, we waste 40% of our food in the United States while 49 million people live in homes that are identified as food insecure. Wasted food is also a waste of the valuable resources that went into producing it: Each year, an estimated 300 million barrels of oil and 25 percent of all freshwater are used to produce food that ends up being wasted.
Last year, the EPA and USDA started to address the food waste issue by launching the U.S. Food Waste Challenge aimed at food producers and businesses. “Food: Too Good to Waste” will help spread this message to communities and individuals and give them the tools to cultivate sustainable behavior patterns around food waste.