Presenter Information

Tom O'Donnell

Event Website

http://www.vet.upenn.edu/research/news-events-conferences/last-food-mile-conference

Start Date

8-12-2014 3:45 PM

End Date

8-12-2014 4:10 PM

Description

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s focus on reducing the amount of food reaching landfills must target waste that comes from households or lose an important opportunity to encourage sustainability and decrease health and environmental impacts of food waste. The EPA Food Recovery Challenge offers a hierarchy of activities to reduce landfilled or incinerated food waste. In order of priority they are: waste prevention, feeding needy people, feeding animals, industrial use including energy generation, and lastly composting. The Hierarchy is prescriptive; solutions are implemented according to circumstances. The environmental, social, and economic impacts of food waste are most effectively addressed by prevention and avoiding waste in the first place. However, proven methods for prevention are not necessarily obvious, easy, or quick.

Illustrating the magnitude of the problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that 31% of edible food that reached retailers and consumers in 2010 was never eaten (The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States) (Buzby, 2014). That represents 133 billion pounds of food with a retail value of $161 billion. Perhaps surprisingly, approximately 21% is consumer loss. We spent $115 billion on food that we never ate!

EPA’s West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum recognized in 2011 that an effective tool was needed to help people reduce their household food waste. The Food Too Good To Waste initiative focusing on waste reduction was borne from the efforts of this group. Beginning in 2012 and continuing today, pilot projects from around the country are collecting critical data and information about the performance of the Initiative.

Food Too Good To Waste provides a system for people to measure food waste. When put into practice, people learn: what food they waste and why, and how to reduce it. After measuring their food waste, participants are shown simple tools to shop smarter, store food properly, prepare food to last longer, and how to enjoy leftovers. This all helps people understand why food is just too meaningful to throw away.

Results from pilot projects demonstrate total household food waste prevention of 15 to 25 percent. In a four-person home, this can amount to $400 or more in edible food cost savings every year along with significant environmental benefits, which people also enjoy creating! EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge teaches new sustainable ways for people to manage their food at home while dramatically reducing the amount of food that they throw away.

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Dec 8th, 3:45 PM Dec 8th, 4:10 PM

Household Food Waste Pilot Project

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s focus on reducing the amount of food reaching landfills must target waste that comes from households or lose an important opportunity to encourage sustainability and decrease health and environmental impacts of food waste. The EPA Food Recovery Challenge offers a hierarchy of activities to reduce landfilled or incinerated food waste. In order of priority they are: waste prevention, feeding needy people, feeding animals, industrial use including energy generation, and lastly composting. The Hierarchy is prescriptive; solutions are implemented according to circumstances. The environmental, social, and economic impacts of food waste are most effectively addressed by prevention and avoiding waste in the first place. However, proven methods for prevention are not necessarily obvious, easy, or quick.

Illustrating the magnitude of the problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that 31% of edible food that reached retailers and consumers in 2010 was never eaten (The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States) (Buzby, 2014). That represents 133 billion pounds of food with a retail value of $161 billion. Perhaps surprisingly, approximately 21% is consumer loss. We spent $115 billion on food that we never ate!

EPA’s West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum recognized in 2011 that an effective tool was needed to help people reduce their household food waste. The Food Too Good To Waste initiative focusing on waste reduction was borne from the efforts of this group. Beginning in 2012 and continuing today, pilot projects from around the country are collecting critical data and information about the performance of the Initiative.

Food Too Good To Waste provides a system for people to measure food waste. When put into practice, people learn: what food they waste and why, and how to reduce it. After measuring their food waste, participants are shown simple tools to shop smarter, store food properly, prepare food to last longer, and how to enjoy leftovers. This all helps people understand why food is just too meaningful to throw away.

Results from pilot projects demonstrate total household food waste prevention of 15 to 25 percent. In a four-person home, this can amount to $400 or more in edible food cost savings every year along with significant environmental benefits, which people also enjoy creating! EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge teaches new sustainable ways for people to manage their food at home while dramatically reducing the amount of food that they throw away.

https://repository.upenn.edu/thelastfoodmile/sessions/session/23

 

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