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food waste

Virginia Schools Pilot Offers Food Waste Education

Through a unique collaboration with USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, food leftovers from six district schools in Prince William County, Virginia, are now being sorted, bagged, and collected before being mixed with organic yard waste and processed into compost at the county’s recycling center. In the first six weeks of the program, almost eight tons of food scraps have been recycled rather than buried in the county landfill.

USDA Roundtable Highlighted Food Waste Reduction Success Stories

On September 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a virtual roundtable titled Exploring Food Waste Solutions: Success Stories from the U.S. and Beyond. This event showcased innovative policies and approaches to reducing food waste in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom. The moderator, Emily Broad Leib from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, discussed how food laws can be a barrier to food waste reduction when they are confusing and a motivator when they align incentives, such as to donate wholesome excess food to those in need.

Key Messages on the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Around the world, roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted from farm to table, amounting to around 1.3 billion tonnes per year. Covid-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in our food systems and heightened the need to remedy food loss and waste (FLW), both locally and globally.

Do Meal Kits Reduce Food Waste? An Interview with Dr. Brenna Ellison

Meal kits became more popular during the pandemic, as many households opted for food delivery due to stay at home orders and preferences for maintaining social distancing. Do these kits also help reduce food waste? Dr. Brenna Ellison, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, provides insights based on her study with USDA on meal kits.

Virtual USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair Available On-Demand

In the United States, more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste and when landfilled it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted our first ever USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair. This free, virtual fair highlighted businesses that are creating or implementing state-of-the-art technical solutions to reduce food loss and waste throughout the food system – from farm to table – and highlighted USDA activities in this space.

Composting Uneaten Food: An Interview with Frank Franciosi from the U.S. Composting Council

In 2018, only 2.6 million tons of food scraps were composted, compared to 35 million tons that went into landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). What are organizations doing to increase composting in the United States? In observance of International Compost Awareness Week (May 2-8), this interview features insights with Frank Franciosi, executive director of the U.S. Composting Council.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Helps Global Efforts to Reduce Food Loss and Waste: An Interview with Paige Cowie

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security. Globally, food waste is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes and arises from many causes from farm to table. In developing countries, these causes include lack of cold-chain storage (refrigeration and freezing, for example), poor-post harvest handling techniques, and lack of access to markets. What is FAS doing to help reduce food loss and waste? This interview features insights from Paige Cowie, Resilient Agriculture Program Manager, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

ReFED Launches Insights Engine with Implications for Food Waste: An Interview with Dana Gunders

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to advance data-driven solutions to reduce food loss and waste throughout the U.S. food system. ReFED is also a private-sector partner with USDA, EPA, and FDA’s interagency initiative to reduce food loss and waste. The organization has launched a Roadmap to 2030 and a new Insights Engine aiming to help reduce food loss and waste. This interview features insights from Dana Gunders, Executive Director, ReFED.