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US Campaign Aims to Cut Food Waste

  • VOA News

The United States wastes billions of kilograms of food each year, and the Department of Agriculture wants that to change.

Throwing away food is not only wasteful, the agency says, it is bad for the environment.

On Tuesday, the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency introduced a new campaign to reduce food waste.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that 30 percent of the food produced in the U.S. is not consumed - that means 60 billion kilograms a year are tossed out.

EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe calls the waste a natural resource issue as well as an economic issue.

“Food waste is the single largest type of waste entering our landfills - Americans throw away up to 40 percent of their food. Addressing this issue not only helps with combating hunger and saving money, but also with combatting climate change: food in landfills decomposes to create potent greenhouse gases,” Perciasepe said.

The USDA’s Food Waste Challenge encourages government agencies, schools, communities and businesses to reduce the amount of food they toss out. To do that, the agency says, consumers and businesses should shop more carefully, donate unneeded food and compost waste food so it stays out of garbage landfills.