Saturday, April 30, 2016
FOOD RECOVERY FOCUS
Last week, the US EPA spent Earth Day (April 22) focused on food waste. In 2015, the EPA and USDA set a national food waste reduction goal of 50% by 2030. About 40% of the nation’s food supply is lost or wasted; food loss and waste is estimated to cost retailers and consumers about $161 billion each year.
EPA’s strategy focuses on first reducing the production of surplus food, and then using excess food to feed hungry people, feed animals, produce energy, and improve soil through composting. Landfills are a last resort. Many states have implemented innovative laws and policies to address food recovery. In 2014, Massachusetts banned institutions and businesses that generate more than one ton of food and organic waste products per week from disposing these products in combustion facilities or landfills. Three other New England states, including Connecticut, and California, also require certain retailers and businesses to recycle food waste. To encourage food donation, several states—including Iowa, Colorado, and California—created a tax credit for farmers who donate food they produce to food pantries and food banks.
Source: Council of State Governments, 4/22/16, Food Waste