USA TODAY US Edition

We can address food waste at home first

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LETTERS LETTERS@USATODAY.COM

It’s encouragin­g to see states beginning to tackle food waste. But, as Jon Frandsen notes in USA TODAY’s article “More than a third of food is wasted: Will tax breaks, new labels and ‘ugly’ produce help?,” it’s going to take more than waste restrictio­ns and tax incentives to make real change. We need to address the problem before it’s on its way to the landfill with strategic planning that prevents food from getting wasted in the first place.

A first step in making that happen is pushing food producers, grocery stores and restaurant­s to be more transparen­t about the food they waste, not just the food that gets donated. Grocery stores in the U.S. don’t even fully track their food waste, much less report on what they’re throwing away. We have models of what transparen­cy looks like. The European chain Tesco is open about the tracking food waste and has made significan­t strides in reducing food waste along every link in the supply chain.

But we don’t have to wait for industries and government­s to combat food waste. We can each make a difference by shopping and cooking smarter. We can track the food we waste, plan our meals and buy only what we need. Jennifer Molidor Senior Food Campaigner Center for Biological Diversity Redding, Calif.

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I throw spoiled food on my lawn. In small amounts, of course. It doesn’t linger or anything. I don’t understand why anyone would send food to a landfill. John Morgan

About 13% of American households are food-insecure (limited or uncertain availabili­ty of nutritiona­lly adequate and safe foods), while nearly 38% of American adults are obese. Imagine how obese this country would be if we didn’t have all that waste! Terry Hay

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