Reducing Food Waste Should Be Top of Mind

“No Taste for Waste” Initiative Starts a Big Conversation

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

As we end 2018 and head to 2019, it’s a good idea to think about reducing food waste. CropLife America, a national trade organization that represents manufacturers, formulators, and distributors of pesticides, is working to minimize the amount of food Americans throw away every day. Kellie Bray, Senior Director of Government Affairs for CropLife, encourages Americans to start the conversation of food waste.

“This is a conversation that is so important not only to growers and producers but to consumers and the people who are really cognizant of food issues. Not only making sure that they save money and food in their own homes but making sure too that people who need food have it,” Bray urged.

In order to set this conversation into motion, CropLife, along with the American Farm Bureau and Meredith Corporation, have partnered on an initiative called, “No Taste for Waste.” The initiative has worked to create a “bookazine” that was available in grocery stores and even your local Target.

“It’s a combination of recipes, farmer’s stories, and tips and tricks on how to maximize the food you have now, so nothing goes to waste,” Bray explained.

Get the Facts on Food Waste

  1. The amount of food wasted in the United States equates to more than 1,250 calories per day, per person, annually.
  2. Food waste is responsible for at least 2.6 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. The number one contributor to all landfill content is food waste, contributing around 21 percent each year.
  4. Each year, between 125 and 160 billion pounds of food are left uneaten in the United States.
  5. Between 21 to 33 percent of agricultural water use is accounted for by food waste.
  6. Cropland of uneaten food accounts for between 18 to 28 percent of U.S. total cropland, which is more than the entire state of New Mexico.
  7. Households are responsible for the largest portion of all food waste. At 238 pounds of food per person, that equals 76 billion pounds!
  8. Many farmers cut back on food waste by using unsold produce as feed for livestock or compost in the soil.

For more information on how to prevent food waste, visit: notasteforwaste.org

Food Waste Solutions Include the American Farmer

American Farmers are Part of the Food Waste Solution

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

At the Maximum Residue Level (MRL) Harmonization Workshop in San Francisco earlier this month, California Ag Today spoke to Jay Vroom, CEO, CropLife America about food waste. This is part one in a two-part series; part two will be published on June 21, 2016.

Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America (CLA) launched the MRL workshop with a discussion of food waste in America and the strong message that we can all do better. We can all reduce food waste in our homes and restaurants; farmers readily reduce food waste in their growing practices. Vroom said famers have the opportunity to spread the word on how they are a big part of the solution in reducing food waste.

Jay Vroom, president and CEO, CropLife America
Jay Vroom, CEO, CropLife America

“Readily-available facts about food waste on social media are often sensitive and misunderstood,” said Vroom, particularly the comparison between the large amounts of wasted food every year and poverty levels. Vroom said circulating speculation includes the claim, “Roughly 80 billion pounds of food is wasted annually and supposedly accounts for an estimated 20% of landfill volume.

The majority of food waste comes from the consumer level, Vroom noted, and includes school cafeterias, restaurants and institutional facilities. “Yet, growers are just as important because the product they are producing suffers an avoidable fate in early production,” Vroom said.

The grower’s voice deserves to be recognized at the start of the food waste conversation—where it begins—in production losses. “Farmers do not get credit where food waste has already been reduced,” Vroom stated. “We need to highlight the fact that food loss is already prevented because of modern agricultural technologies.”

“When we do landscape surveillance on the internet and elsewhere,” he said, “there’s virtually no voice of the American farmer in this conversation about food waste.” The farmer’s voice is crucial to determine the time their goods get to the consumer and the time they are thrown out, Vroom emphasized. “A consumer may have produce that goes bad within three days of purchase. If biotechnology could increase that time by a day or even two, the amount of food waste could be reduced,” Vroom said.

Part two of the series, to be published on June 20, will cover the ways Vroom recommends ensuring farmers have their voices heard and how bioscience could eliminate food waste.

Washington, D.C.-based CLA, the largest trade association that represents pesticide manufacturers, distributors and formulators in America,  supports farmers and growers with environmental policies based on scientific facts.