Wasted Food and a New Spin on the 3 Rs

World War I-era poster by the U.S. Food Administration

World War I-era poster by the U.S. Food Administration

This blogpost was co-written by Erin Biehl and Karen Banks.

For decades, we’ve heard the slogan: reduce, reuse, recycle. Those familiar “three Rs” are often represented by the well-recognized Mobius Loop, spinning infinitely on bins, packages, and bottles nationwide.

The three Rs and the symbol are intended to educate consumers about the waste hierarchy, which tells us that the prevention, reuse, and recycling of materials is far preferable to sending them to a landfill—and by some measures the campaign is working because recycling and composting have increased 500 percent since 1980 in the U.S. On the other hand, a considerable portion of the waste stream still eludes us: food. Each year, 52.4 million tons of food is thrown away in the U.S. That’s the equivalent of 1,200 USS Missouri battleships full of food. Another 10.1 million tons of food never make if off the farm field. Read More >

Pingree-Brown Bill Supports Local Agriculture, Farm to Table

Pingree-Brown: strengthen local food systems

Local farmers have been a hot topic in Congress lately.

Last Tuesday, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D–ME) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D–OH) introduced the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act in Congress. The goal of the bill, which was intended for inclusion in the 2012 Farm Bill, is to strengthen local and regional food systems. It addresses the needs of smaller farms that produce for local markets, as well as of consumers who may lack access to healthy foods.

The bill has between 35 and 40 cosponsors in the House, including Rep. Donna Edwards (D–MD), and six cosponsors in the Senate, including Senator Barbara Mikulski (D–MD). Read More >