The Washington state Department of Agriculture is looking at what can be done to reduce food waste in the United States. According to the WSDA 30% of all food produced goes to the landfill, and the average American household wastes 20% of all food purchased, accounting for roughly $200 per month. Katie Rains with the WSDA said they are working with the state Department of Ecology and Department of Health to write a statewide plan to cut food waste by 50% over the next ten years. Rains noted such an ambitious effort means everyone will need to get involved.
“The framework for bill that was adopted earlier this year by the legislature that set that goal of reducing food waste was that we both want to reduce the waste side of it, but also when that’s not possible, we want to get good food into the hunger relieve sector, and get more of that to where it’s needed.”
To move forward, Rains says the WSDA needs insight and understanding from farmers involved in daily food production.
“To understand the degree which you are not able to harvest, or the amount of on field loss that’s happening. We don’t really have any good sense of that, and like I said we really don’t expect or have any desire for anyone to produce less, we value what our farmers are doing across the state. But we’d love to understand how we can better use those resources.”
Rains said other states have tried similar efforts including New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire and the city of San Diego. Feedback can be made by calling (360)688-4549 or e-mailing Katie Rains.
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