The U.S. throws away up to 40% of the food it produces. But there is a way to reduce this: a special EPA taskforce created Food: Too Good to Waste, a comprehensive toolkit to help communities across the country to reduce the amount of food they lose and waste, and all we need now is for the EPA to approve it!
Food: Too Good to Waste provides communities with tools and strategies to help families and individuals reduce food wasted at home. EPA approval and funding would allow Food: Too Good to Waste to launch a coordinated national campaign on Earth Day on April 22, 2014. Love Food Hate Waste, a food waste initiative in the United Kingdom, utilized a similar approach, alongside the work of civic society organizations, to achieve a reduction in food waste by 21 percent since 2007.
Each year, an estimated 300 million barrels of oil and 25 percent of all freshwater are used to produce food that ends up being wasted instead of reaching people’s stomachs. Food waste in landfills accounts for nearly 16 percent of U.S. methane emissions and costs Americans $165 billion each year. To protect our land, air, and water, it is crucial that we reduce food waste at the national level.
Food Shift has drafted this letter in partnership with the support of the organizations below. Together we can build stronger, more resilient communities and a healthier environment by supporting this campaign to end food waste!
We know Administrator McCarthy and Associate Administrator Mathy Stanislaus have a lot on their plates. We are sending this letter to show that we stand with them on backing this issue and making it a priority before Earth Day 2014! Show your support for ending food waste in the U.S.!
Dana Frasz, Founder & Director, Food Shift
John A. Knox, Executive Director, Earth Island Institute
Jonathan Bloom, Journalist & Speaker
Michael Dimock, Roots of Change
Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank
Gary Oppenheimer, Ample Harvest
Joel Berg, New York Coalition Against Hunger
Dana Gunders, Natural Resources Defense Council
Tristram Stuart, Feeding the 5k
Frances Moore Lappé, Small Planet Institute
Nick Papadopoulos, Cropmobster.com & FoodWasteNews.com
Gary Wolff, Stopwaste.org
Chef Ann Cooper, Renegade Lunch Lady
Richard McCarthy, Slow Food USA
Rajesh Karmani, ZeroPercent.us
I am writing to request that you approve the Food: Too Good to Waste’s toolkit as part of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. We know that you have already expressed support for this toolkit, but have not had the time to formally approve it. To protect our land, air, and water, it is crucial the EPA implements programs that will reduce food waste at a national level. Wasted food accounts for nearly 16 percent of U.S. methane emissions, consumes 25 percent of our freshwater, and costs Americans $165 billion each year. Our nation wastes up to 40 percent of the food that it produces (Gunders). The EPA holds the power to approve the toolkit and equip local governments with the financial resources necessary to expand the adoption and implementation, which will cultivate sustainable behavioral patterns and keep food out of our landfills.
The average American consumer “waste[s] more than they did 40 years ago, indicating that much of the problem—and therefore part of the solution--is behavioral”(Gunders). To reduce food waste in American homes, the toolkit employs strategies that identify and overcome perceived barriers to behavioral change. Love Food Hate Waste, a food waste initiative in the UK, used a similar approach, alongside civic society organizations, to curb food waste by 21 percent since 2007!
EPA funding and approval of the toolkit would allow FTGTW to launch a coordinated national campaign on Earth Day in April of 2014 thrusting this issue into the national spotlight. Uniting around this toolkit can really bolster business efforts and business partnerships as part of the Food Recovery Challenge to increase cost savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We urge you to demonstrate your commitment to reducing food waste in communities across our nation by funding and approving the Food: Too Good to Waste’s toolkit. We stand with you on this issue!
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.