Could This Be the Food-Waste Diet America Needs?

By this point, you’ve probably heard about the problem: The United States wastes a huge amount of food, as much as $165 billion worth of it every year, or 40 percent of what is produced. In recent years, the issue has received increased attention from environmentalists, the media, and even President Obama, who set a goal to cut food waste in half by 2030.

The question, however, is how do we get there? Some countries, such as Denmark, have made great strides—but there are deep-seated business practices and cultural attitudes toward food in the U.S. that make eating anything that could be categorized as trash, for example, difficult to sell.

Now, a new report published by the coalition of business, public health, and environmental groups called ReFED is proposing a food-waste diet for the country. The ambitious proposal would cut waste by 20 percent over a decade—and save consumers $6 billion annually. ReFED lays out 27 solutions across the food chain, which would result in 1.8 billion meals recovered and 1.6 trillion gallons of water saved. The various means of conservation are wide ranging—from packaging innovations to changes in the cold chain—but the Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes prevention first, followed by recovery, and finally recycling. In other words, the goal is not to compost all of the $218 billion worth of food thrown away in the U.S. annually—it’s to have drastically less food that needs to be recycled in some manner.

Read the full article at