How is USDA making a difference?
USDA has joined with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to achieve an ambitious national goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by 2030. Meeting reduction goals will include a range of public and private efforts. Current USDA and EPA initiatives include:
- The Challenge provides a way to assess and share best practices to reduce, recover, and recycle food loss and waste.
- By the end of 2014, the U.S. Food Waste Challenge had over 4,000 participants.
- Participants and endorsers include grocers, educational institutions, restaurants, faith-based organizations, and hospitality businesses.
- Organizations that pledge to participate work to prevent and divert wasted food in their operations.
Additional USDA projects
- developing programs to minimize food waste in school meals programs
- offering consumer education materials
- making food donation procedures easier
How does USDA define food loss and waste?
USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) defines food loss, which includes food waste, as the edible amount of food, postharvest, that is available for human consumption but is not consumed for any reason. For example, it includes cooking loss and natural shrinkage; loss from mold, pests, or inadequate climate control.