Working together to reduce food waste : Extensionf act sheet
"The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service estimates that 30 to 40% of edible food in the United States currently goes to waste. These 133 billion pounds of wasted food are worth an estimated $161 billion, which is a significant loss to our economy. At the household level, the average US family of four loses an estimated $1,500 per year on wasted food. Further, food waste accounts for 21% of the American waste stream. When we throw food out, we are throwing away the money we spent on those items as well as wasting the water, energy, and labor used to produce that food. Also, food dumped in a landfill emits a large amount of methane gas, which is harmful to the environment. Organic waste, mostly food, is the second biggest component of landfills, and landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions (FDA, 2020). Because of the environmental impact of food waste, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a Food Recovery Hierarchy (Image 1) to help people think about the best ways to reduce food waste. Most food producers, processors, and food retailers are working on various initiatives to reduce their food waste. This lesson will focus on how consumers can reduce their own food waste. We will consider the different levels of the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy (Image 1) and discuss how we can prioritize our efforts to reduce food waste and save our hard-earned money and global resources."--Introduction
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