USDA Food Waste Climate Initiative Tells People How to Compost

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Essay by Eric Worrall

Your tax dollars at work – I read this three times and it still looks like a word salad. But there is a disturbing question – why?

Community Resources to Combat Climate Change and Food Loss and Waste

Posted by Nina Bhattacharyya, Natural Resources Specialist, USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production in Climate Initiatives

Jun 21, 2022

Local communities face many challenges when mitigating and adapting to climate change. Cities across the country are experiencing the effects of increased natural disasters, limited resources, sea-level rise, and other impacts. Municipalities and stakeholders have an opportunity to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increase food security through addressing food loss and waste.

It is estimated that 4% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions is attributable to uneaten food [1]. In the U.S. and beyond, food is wasted along all parts of the supply chain. Therefore, a variety of local strategies and tools are needed to tackle this issue, including preventing food waste, connecting wholesome excess food to those who need it, and composting food scraps. Resilient cities are those that have a sustainable and equitable food system that includes a strong food recovery network and food waste reduction solutions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognizes the need for community resources to address food loss and waste. Through the 2018 Farm Bill, the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP) established the Composting and Food Waste Reduction pilot program. The program supports projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing food waste reduction plans and composting plans. OUAIP has announced the latest funding opportunity for local governments, school districts, and Native American tribes to host pilot projects for fiscal year 2022. Applications will be accepted on Grants.gov until September 1, 2022. Learn more about the program and past recipients by visiting the webpage for Composting and Food Waste Reduction Cooperative Agreements.

Finally, and on a related note, learning from others is a great place to start exploring solutions. The USDA has compiled food loss and waste resources for farmers, businesses, consumers, schools and more. Our partners at the Environmental Protection Agency have assembled helpful links on wasted food programs across the United States and have regional representatives available to answer questions about how to reduce wasted food. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration provides important information on maintaining food safety while also avoiding food waste.

Get started today and be part of the solution to combat climate change and food loss and waste.

[1] Food Waste: The Challenge, REFED, refed.com/food-waste/the-challenge/#overview (last visited April 1, 2022).

Source: https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2022/06/21/community-resources-combat-climate-change-and-food-loss-and-waste

I clicked the link food loss and waste resources for farmers, and it mostly seems to be about cheap loans for better onsite storage, and advice on how to turn berries into jam. The finance might be welcome, but seriously?

The easiest way to reduce food waste is to eat that droopy looking carrot in the bottom of the chiller drawer. And I’ve done that, when money was tight. You have to spend half a minute cutting off the rotten bits, usually the tip of the carrot and the skin, which can go a bit mouldy. Even after all that, there is still a risk the trimmed carrot will taint the food, and a very small risk it will make you sick.

I’d much rather have fresh vegetables, remove the risk of taint in tonight’s dinner, and throw the out of date food in the trash.

Food waste is a luxury people with money can afford. We’ve all seen Venezuelans chasing garbage trucks, and people in poor countries who live in trash dumps, scavenging discarded food. It is amazing what you can live on if you have to, those multi generation survivors, people scavenging scraps from trash heaps are so adapted, they can eat things which would kill most people. But personally I’d rather not have to learn to live that way.

Frankly I find it a bit alarming that Biden’s USDA suddenly feels the urge for people in the USA to learn skills only really poor people need to know.

via Watts Up With That?

June 23, 2022

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