Want to see just how deep & complex the issue of food waste can be?
Problem can be best tackled on a broad level at America’s dinner tables
Preventing Waste Before it Happens needed to significantly reduce its environmental impacts.
National, coordinated [consumer education] campaign is needed
Food waste solutions classified by ability to reduce tons of waste, cut emissions, and save money;
Actions could include reducing portion sizes in restaurants or standardizing sell-by dates;
So home cooks don’t throw out perfectly good foods.–
See Report that analyzes the impact food has once it’s thrown out ;
Also the efficacy of disposal solutions such as composting & anaerobic digestion.
And unlike other environmental issues that depend on the small proportion of the population involved in food production to make changes;
Reducing waste in retail spaces such as supermarkets & institutions such as schools & prisons would have minimal environmental benefits
Consumer education campaign could divert 1.7 million tons of waste,
Changing portion sizes in restaurants would be even more effective, diverting 2.4 million.
The researchers found that about 35 percent of the U.S. food supply is wasted, and before it even gets to a landfill,
Waste results in annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 42 coal-fired power plants.
“But splitting the problem into two parts made sense “to emphasize prevention” in a space where food rescue and reuse gets much more attention.”– Shannon Kenny, SR Advisor, food loss and waste in the Office of Research and Development at EPA
“The more downstream you’re wasting food, the more greenhouse gas emissions have been emitted—by the time you’ve driven it around, you’ve packaged it in plastic, you’ve done all these things that now add to the impact of it.” – Claudia Fabiano, a specialist on the Sustainable Management of Food Team in the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the EPA,
“Where we have the opportunity to make design decisions to prevent waste, I think we should pursue them.”
Dana Gunders, executive director of ReFED.
1) “Stopping Food Waste Before It Starts Is Key to Reaching Climate Goals”- https://civileats.com/2022/01/05/stopping-food-waste-before-it-starts-is-key-reaching-climate-goalsprevention-is-key-to-minimizing-the-climate-impacts-of-food-waste.
2) Lisa Held, Civil Eats’ senior staff reporter;
Focuses on agriculture and the food system with an eye toward sustainability, equality, and health:
3) Claudia Fabiano, a specialist on the Sustainable Management of Food Team in the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the EPA;