13 May 2018 - America Has a Food Challenge

America has a food challenge; it’s one that many people aren’t even aware of and as a result, we don’t talk about it very much. It is FOOD WASTE!

With all the hungry people on the planet, we waste a huge amount of food in the United States. That’s why I was pleased to see Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue host a Food Waste Roundtable at USDA earlier this month, bringing together people from all facets of the food industry.

Here are a couple of numbers I found to be almost unbelievable. Food loss and waste eat up nearly 40% of the U.S. food supply every year. Consumers, that is you and me, are responsible for the most food loss and waste, racking up 90-billion pounds annually, 20% of the U.S. food supply. The retail sector is responsible for about 10%, totaling
43-billion pounds. That’s mostly edible food that ends up in our sink garbage disposal unit or in a garbage dump.

I want o quote the Secretary’s comments at the end of the meeting...
“Our nation’s agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash. So many people work on food waste issues in their own spheres, but it’s time to change the culture and adopt a holistic approach to get everyone working together and sharing ideas.

"I commend Congressmen Pingree and Young for addressing this issue on Capito Hill and for their desire to find collaborative, commonsense solutions. USDA remains committed to helping reduce waste, and we are excited to work with all stakeholders from farm to fork to further elevate this effort and fulfill our motto to ’Do right and feed everyone.’”

This is an effort that can and should involve all of us and it starts in our home. So let’s do more than talk about it. Let’s do it!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.