National Consumers League

NCL welcomes federal food waste initiative

October 19, 2018

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) is welcoming an announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a new initiative to reduce food waste. The agreement is aimed at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies attempting to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste.

According to a statement issued by the agencies, U.S. food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This figure, based on estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service of 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. Wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills and represents nourishment that could have helped feed families in need.

“We welcome this acknowledgement by the federal government that food waste is a problem that warrants our attention,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “The amount of food we waste—while millions of others go hungry, in our own country and around the globe, is shameful, and we can all do better. We eagerly await hearing more about the concrete steps the administration is recommending to tackle the problem.”

NCL has been an early leader on identifying reducing food waste as a priority and is a co-founder of Further with Food: Center for Food Loss and Waste Solutions, a virtual resource to share information about proven solutions and innovative new approaches to reduce the volume of surplus food generated, feed hungry people, and divert food and scraps to the highest beneficial use. In 2016, NCL hosted a food waste summit to identify causes and search for solutions to engage consumers on reducing food waste. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a national goal to cut U.S food waste in half by 2030. 

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.