Commend Agencies for Program to Reduce Food Waste

Target: USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe

Goal: Support the USDA and EPA in their initiative to reduce food waste through the U.S. Food Waste Challenge

The USDA and EPA recently collaborated to launch the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, an important call to action across all levels of the food system to reduce food waste. This project strives to reduce the environmental impact of materials through their entire life cycle by increasing reuse of products.

Food waste represents wasted money and resources and is bad for the economy and environment. The press release for the Challenge stated, “In 2010, around 35 million tons of food waste was generated, 97 percent of which was thrown away into landfills or incinerators.” According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, uneaten food left to decompose in landfills is the “single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste,” and generates significant amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

The Challenge seeks to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste by providing and encouraging the spread of information across all spectrums of the food chain, from producers, manufacturers, and consumers. It promotes collaboration by having participants share updates, statistics, and suggestions based on their experiences reducing food waste.

As Secretary Vilsack explained, “The fundamental goal is to shift how Americans think about and manage food waste.”


Dear USDA Secretary Vilsack and EPA Administrator Perciasepe,

We thank you for your recognition of food waste as a real problem in this country and your commitment to finding solutions through the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

The Challenge has the potential to become a truly transformative tool for our food system by raising awareness of this problem and providing a forum for participants to share their best practices across the food chain to reduce food waste. It promotes action by encouraging others to adapt more efficient practices for using, reusing, and diverting food waste from landfills.

We truly appreciate this initiative and hope the EPA and USDA will do everything in their power to reach their objectives and create real change to reduce food waste.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

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