Reduce Food Waste By Feeding Livestock Unsellable Scraps

Target: Robert M. Carliff MD, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Make sure inedible food waste becomes livestock feed instead of ending up in the landfill.

As countries modernize, food availability increases. The US Food and Drug Admnistration (FDA) reports that people in the United States are eating more fruits and vegetables when compared with 1970. This is, in part, thanks to globalization and the number and types of food now available year-round. However, with more food comes more waste. In this country, the amount of discarded food sits around 80 billion pounds per year, according to Recycle Track Systems, which also translates to a whopping 30-40 percent of all the food we produce. Ask yourself: What’s the point of a investing in a limited resource if we only throw it away?

Most of this food waste is concentrated through retail and consumers. From a piece of fruit that gets bruised in the store and will not sell, down to vegetable peels removed by people who do not care to eat them, discarded food comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of it is viable for human consumption while other matter is just the biproduct of food preparation. Ultimately, though, the food is still edible. Who can take advantage of the less favorable food and scraps?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a food pyramid of sorts that they call the Food Recovery Hierarchy. The chart designates what should happen to extra food starting at the source. First, the EPA recommends reducing the volume of food generated. Second, it is advised additional food surplus goes to feed hungry people through food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens. Third, feed livestock. Livestock contribute to our food supply and certainly are not as particular as people in the things they eat, and because much of our wasted food is ultimately healthy for us, it can be nutritious for the next piece of bacon-to-be.

Sign this petition and demand the FDA use food waste to feed livestock instead of letting it rot in the landfill.


Dear Comissioner Carliff,

No matter how much or how little food crosses shelves in this country, much of it still ends up in the garbage. We have high standards for the foods we eat and do not give much consideration for the whole items or scraps everyone gets rid of on a daily basis. In other words, if we have no interest in our forgotten foods, many feel as if it does not matter if they could have a life elsewhere. Even the foods that cannot be used by people can still go out to the almost one million farms in the country that produce livestock and poultry.

The way to address this perpetual issue is to support localities more in partnering with farms in order to recycle food scraps. The composting movement, commercially and recreationally, already has gained a good deal of momentum. There is nothing holding us back from pushing for the extra waste to be put to good use with livestock. Benefits include sustaining independent farms, reducing costs in the supply chain and, ultimately, for the consumer, reducing energy for producing more food.

There are few to no options for conserving what we produce but do not consume, and the time for action is now. Farmers and consumers across the country demand you implement the Food Recovery Hierarchy to help manage the tons of food we waste every year.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jason M. C., Han

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