Friday, December 04, 2015

USA - "Call To Action" To Reduce Food Waste

The USA held an important summit recently to address the announcements a few months back from the US Government on reducing food waste in the US.

U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator  Mathy Stanislaus announced a "Call To Action" to help meet the U.S. EPA's and U.S. Department of Agriculture's goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.

Stanislaus issued the Call To Action during the Closing Plenary of the Food Recovery Summit, held November 16-18 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. "We want to announce an Action Plan to meet the goal on Earth Day 2016," he stated. "What has to be done to meet this goal? What has to change? We are seeking a diverse plan made by representatives of all sectors of the food life cycle."

Stanislaus and other EPA officials participated in sessions and roundtables throughout the summit. They emphasized that EPA is open to new and "disruptive" ideas and strategies to prevent wasted food, increase food recovery, and assist in development of processing infrastructure for nonedible food. "We are pushing all of you to help develop a concrete plan that you can sign on to and commit your resources [to implement]," concluded Stanislaus.

There has also been some acknowledgment in Australia that we also need to also primarily reduce food waste in our country, and to better address  - successfully  - how to deal with the food waste generated.  Technologies are reasonably readily available, only requiring suitable adaptation and scheme specific design.

One can think of concepts such as anaerobic digestion, composting and co-composting of food and other organic wastes [ at home and commercially], even waste to energy schemes as all playing some part in better utilising the wasted foods.  Individual circumstances will drive the options.

It is better to reduce the initial waste where possible and even better management of unused foods in conjunction with food bank groups does help in reducing food wastes.

There has not been the serious and concerted push as seen in the US here in Australia so far to reduce food waste, with most western countries having greater food waste in the post production sector rather than during production. 

We can all do more though, to reduce food wastage, especially now with the festive season approaching and a trend to excess food being available.  Of major importance is the front end of the cycle – the reduction of actually avoiding the proliferation of food available that most people know may often go to waste.

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