To: U.S. Congress

Tell Congress: Reduce food waste now

Tell Congress: Reduce food waste now

Reducing food waste will help feed millions of hungry Americans, protect our fragile environment, and slow the effects of climate change. Support Rep. Chellie Pingree's Food Recovery Act now.

Why is this important?

Nearly 50 million Americans, including more than 15 million children, are currently going hungry.[1] As the richest nation in the world, it's tragic that so many live in food insecure homes.

At the same time, 40% of all food in America is wasted. If we reduced the amount of food we throw away by just 15%, we could feed nearly 25 million hungry people.[2]

I recently introduced landmark legislation to combat hunger and protect our environment by reducing food waste across the country. My comprehensive bill includes a provision that would reform the "sell by" date most of our food carries. We all know that food is still safe and healthy far past that date -- sometimes even years later -- but these dates are set by manufacturers, some of whom are looking to turn a profit by selling more product when you throw yours away.

We can reduce food waste and feed hungry families, but my bill may remain stalled in a dysfunctional Congress without all of us speaking out now in support.

Roughly 133 billion pounds of food are wasted each year by stores, farms, restaurants, schools, businesses, and homes across America. The cost of this waste to the American public is enormous: $160 billion a year of wasted food is tossed in landfills and down drains, which works out to about $125 a month for an average family.[3]

Food waste isn't just a hunger issue, either. Landfills in America are comprised of roughly 20% wasted food, which emit large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, wasted food "accounts for an estimated 35% of freshwater consumption, 31% of cropland, and 30% of fertilizer usage; as well as 2% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions."[4]

By making it easier for consumers to know their food can still be safe, and by providing incentives for business and farms to reduce food waste, we will go a long way to protecting the environment and preventing hunger for millions of Americans.

One provision of my legislation has already passed the House, but given the dysfunction in Washington and resistance from food manufacturers, getting this bill passed will be difficult without your activism today.

Thank you for all you do.

-----

References

1. Hunger and Poverty Facts, Feeding America, http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/hunger-and-poverty/hunger-and-poverty-fact-sheet.html

2. Dana Gunders, “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill,” Natural Resources Defense Council, August 2012, https://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf

3. Willy Blackmore, “Proposed Law Would Cut Back on Food Waste From Farm to Fridge,” Take Part, December 7, 2015, http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/12/07/food-waste-bill-congress

4. Roni A. Neff, Marie L. Spiker, Patricia L. Truant, “Wasted Food: U.S. Consumers' Reported Awareness, Attitudes, and Behaviors,” PLOS One, June 10, 2015, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127881

Categories

Updates

2016-01-27 10:50:14 -0800

50,000 signatures reached

2016-01-24 08:10:09 -0800

20,000 signatures reached

2016-01-18 06:09:56 -0800

10,000 signatures reached

2016-01-17 09:55:23 -0800

5,000 signatures reached

2016-01-17 06:50:58 -0800

1,000 signatures reached

2016-01-17 06:37:14 -0800

500 signatures reached

2016-01-17 06:22:20 -0800

100 signatures reached

2016-01-17 06:19:17 -0800

50 signatures reached

2016-01-17 06:18:14 -0800

25 signatures reached

2016-01-17 06:16:36 -0800

10 signatures reached