Much of the food waste sent to landfills is not waste at all but actually safe, wholesome food that could potentially feed millions

PHILADELPHIA (November 29, 2011) — On November 30, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance held a Food Recovery Workshop at the Capital Union Building on Penn State University’s Harrisburg Campus.

 

Surplus food is second only to paper in materials sent to landfills. Much of this “waste” is not waste at all, but actually safe, wholesome food that could potentially feed millions of Americans. Only three percent is currently being diverted to hunger relief organizations or for other uses.

EPA showcased the agency’s Food Recovery Challenge, a sustainable materials management initiative, which challenges participants to reduce disposal of as much of their surplus food as possible — saving money, helping communities, and protecting the environment.

The daylong workshop provided information on how to increase the amount of consumable surplus foods provided to food banks and non-consumables food to composters. Professionals in the grocery, retail, food bank, composting, and associated government agencies are encouraged to attend.  This workshop included sessions on best practices with respect to managing surplus food and updates on regional and national food recovery trends.

Featured speakers included representatives from the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Feeding America, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, food bank associations, grocers, and EPA.

Source: EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge go to: http://www.epa.gov/wastes/partnerships/wastewise/challenge/foodrecovery/index.htm

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