On Tuesday, June 4, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe announced the launch of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, a new partnership between the public and private sector to reduce food waste at all levels of the food system.
Secretary Vilsack declared, “The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on earth, but too much of this food goes to waste.” Thirty to forty percent of the U.S. food supply is wasted, totaling 60 billion kilograms (133 billion pounds) of wasted food in 2010.
The U.S. Food Waste Challenge seeks to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste by providing information for consumers, producers, and manufacturers. Participants will post updates and statistics, and also share best practices. The fundamental goal is to shift how Americans think about and manage food waste.
The EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge is working alongside the USDA, providing participants technical assistance to improve food management. There are 202 current participants and endorsers of the Food Recovery Challenge.
The U.S. Food Challenge seeks to have 400 partner organization by 2015 and 1,000 by 2020. Some of the inaugural partners include Unilever, General Mills, and the Food Waste Reduction Alliance.