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NRDC Calls Needed Attention to Food Waste
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has issued a report calling attention to the massive waste of food in America while millions face food insecurity.

The most recent USDA data summarized here, found that in 2010 "17.2 million households were food insecure. Food-insecure households (those with low and very low food security) had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources."

Moreover "Children were food insecure at times during the year in 9.8 percent of households with children (3.9 million households), down from 10.6 percent in 2009. These households were unable at times during the year to provide adequate, nutritious meals for their children."

USDA also explained that "Rates of food insecurity were substantially higher than the national average for households with incomes near or below the Federal poverty line, households with children headed by single women or single men, and Black and Hispanic households. Food insecurity was more common in large cities and rural areas than in suburban areas and other outlying areas around large cities."

Despite the widespread food insecurity in the United States, NRDC reported that "Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month."

NRDC further explained that "Nutrition is also lost in the mix -- food saved by reducing losses by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables. Given all the resources demanded for food production, it is critical to make sure that the least amount possible is needlessly squandered on its journey to our plates."

NRDC concludes that "Increasing the efficiency of the U.S. food system is a triple bottom-line solution that requires a collective approach by decision-makers at every level in the supply chain. Investing in these food waste reduction strategies, together we can reap the tremendous social benefits of alleviating hunger, the environmental benefits of efficient resource use, and the financial benefits of significant cost savings."

Watchdog Watch thanks NRDC for calling attention to the needless waste of food while so many Americans, including children, don't have enough to eat.

  • See Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill
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