We can ad­dress food waste at home first

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS -


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.


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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