Last year, USDA, FDA, and EPA set a goal to cut food waste loss (FWL) in half by 2030. Yet a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found limited progress by these three agencies.
National Resource Defense Council 2017 data showed that 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted. The cost of producing, processing, transporting, and disposing of this wasted food is $218 billion annually, or 1.3 percent of U.S. GDP, according to ReFED.
Causes of FWL occur along the entire supply chain: Farms, processors, distributers, retailers, and consumers can all be held accountable. From acceptable food being left unharvested in the field, to consumers buying too much food, only to dispose of it as garbage, FWL represents a significant loss of resources. In fact, 2015 ReFED research found that consumers accounted for 43 percent of FWL in the U.S.
Considering food waste, the goal of global food security by 2030, or UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2), is certainly worth mentioning. The expiration and fundamental parity of food security and U.S. food waste reduction are complimentary. However, SDG2 is reportedly also off-pace, with 10.9 percent of the world reportedly undernourished as of 2017 (Our World in Data).
Reuters stated last month that aid groups, financial organizations, and more are concerned the world is off track to meet SDG2, among other UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Percent food waste loss, by supply chain group
Source: NRDC 2015
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