Food waste is a critical problem affecting the food industry: it is estimated that a full third of the food that is produced around the world—at a value of around $1 trillion USD—is ultimately lost or wasted. In the United States, that estimate jumps to as much as 40 percent. That lack of efficiency affects everything from availability to prices. But the issue of food waste is one that can be tackled along every rung of the supply chain from producers and retailers to restaurants and consumers. As awareness of the issue grows, plenty of businesses and agencies are taking action to prevent food waste wherever possible.
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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched several projects in an attempt to reduce food waste, and recently Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stan Meiburg announced an official national food waste reduction goal, the first of its kind for the United States. According to this goal, the federal government aims to reduce food waste in the U.S. 50 percent by 2030.
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How can we reduce food waste? From better planning and storage to food bank donations, the USDA has some ideas that it is sharing this week through its latest infographic. While many of these are targeted toward consumers, anyone from small businesses to the largest corporations can learn from these simple suggestions. Whether it’s investing in the latest storage and warehousing technologies to better preserve fresh produce, or partnering with local food banks or charities to donate unused products, find a way to make food waste reduction your own. Check out the infographic here: