US Wants To Slash Food Waste in Half By 2030

Sep 17, 2015 09:12 AM EDT | By Juliano Dario

It looks like the United States is getting serious about curbing its food waste problem. The Obama administration together with the US Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency have just set a target of a 50% reduction in food related waste by the year 2030.

The USDA's official press release says:

"The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on earth, but too much of this food goes to waste," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "An average family of four leaves more than two million calories, worth nearly $1500, uneaten each year. Our new reduction goal demonstrates America's leadership on a global level in getting wholesome food to people who need it, protecting our natural resources, cutting environmental pollution and promoting innovative approaches for reducing food loss and waste."

Back in July, comedian and satirist John Oliver addressed this very problem in a lengthy segment on his HBO news program, 'Last Week Tonight.'

As much as 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. never gets eaten" and "Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food every year," roughly "20 pounds per person every month." How is that possible in a country where so many go hungry? A recent USDA report found that "in 2013, 49.1 million people lived in food-insecure households." Said Oliver back then.

The USDA's statement has some additional figures to ponder:

Food loss and waste in the United States accounts for approximately 31 percent-or 133 billion pounds-of the overall food supply available to retailers and consumers and has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation and climate change. Food loss and waste is single largest component of disposed U.S. municipal solid waste, and accounts for a significant portion of U.S. methane emissions.

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