- Further With Food: Center for Food Loss and Waste Solutions, an online hub for food waste resources, has officially launched with a broad base of government and nonprofit support.
- The site currently features more than 100 entries and has a submission page for new ones to expand the list. Current items include guides on managing and recycling food waste, educational materials, research findings and information on current initiatives from governments, businesses, and communities.
- This project was led by The Rockefeller Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other partners include Feeding America, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the World Resources Institute, among others.
This idea has been in the works for months in an effort to organize the vast array of work being done around the federal goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030. As indicated by a comparison on the Further With Food site, estimates on the amount of wasted food in the U.S. range anywhere from 36 to 86 million tons per year. Regardless of whatever the number may be, the economic, environmental and human effects of this situation are seen as detrimental.
With so many organizations working on this from different angles, sometimes with different opinions, it will help all involved to have a centralized hub. Too often researchers may not be aware of the work their peers are doing, let alone communities in different parts of the country. Organizations such as ReFED have helped quantify the effects of the work that is being done, but this offers a different collaborative approach.
Whether the new Trump administration will agree with the stance of former agency heads that food waste reduction is a key priority for climate change mitigation remains to be seen. Actions to temporarily stifle work and communications within the relevant agencies this week has caused concern among environmental groups. Though as of publication, the food waste pages were still active for both the EPA and USDA websites and the nominated leadership hadn't been confirmed for either agency.
Even if the issue is no longer a priority for the Trump team the work will continue elsewhere. The Rockefeller Foundation is in the midst of a seven-year, $130 million initiative called YieldWise focused on food waste. That money is funding a multi-city organic waste characterization study by the NRDC, among many other projects. The topic is also being dealt with on a global scale, ensuring that the U.S. leadership can only ignore it for so long.