Approximately 40% of the food produced in the U.S. now ends up in the landfill. In 2015, USDA and EPA announced the first-ever U.S. food waste reduction goal, setting a target of halving our food waste by 2030. The 2018 Farm Bill is the first farm bill to be passed since the announcement of that goal.
The Farm Bill offers a critical opportunity for Congress to begin to take real steps to break the U.S. food waste habit and to rethink the role the federal government can play in that reduction.
To clarify the policy options and implications the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic, with support from Food Policy Action and ReFED, released Opportunities to Reduce Food Waste in the 2018 Farm Bill. The report outlines 17 recommendations that Congress can implement to tackle food waste, presenting a broad range of solutions, from small modifications that add food waste reduction opportunities to established programs, to new initiatives or programs that could catalyze larger-scale food waste action and awareness.
The 2018 farm bill itself is an omnibus package of federal legislation, reauthorized every 5 to 7 years, that shapes virtually every aspect of our food and agricultural system. Although it allocates nearly $500 billion every 5 years, not a single dollar spent in the current Farm Bill would help ensure that the food we produce actually makes it to our plates. For insights on ways to become more food waste conscious check out Wasted Food. The site features some valuable updates about waste-reduction campaigns, and offers useful tips for food conservation.