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White House announces country's first strategy to tackle national problem of food waste: 'Everyone has a role to play'

"The strategy falls short of food-waste laws in other countries and even those of some American states."

"The strategy falls short of food-waste laws in other countries and even those of some American states."

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In a historic announcement, the White House has released a strategy to combat food waste in the United States, with goals of reducing planet-warming pollution and keeping money in people's pockets.

On June 12, the White House released details for a first-of-its-kind strategy to reduce food waste in the U.S. The program's ambitious goals are paired with support from the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Agriculture. 

The New York Times reported, "The White House says it will fund research into technologies that could extend the shelf life of food, like new seed varieties and better packaging." The plan also includes funding for education in schools and working with farmers to stem food loss on the production side. 

"Each year, too much food produced in the United States ends up in landfills instead of on dining room tables. This hurts our economy by raising the cost of food and contributing to climate pollution," EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said.

One of the main drivers of this plan is the government's goal to curtail the amount of toxic gases released into the atmosphere. According to the White House strategy, "Food waste is responsible for 58% of landfill methane emissions released to the atmosphere, so diverting food waste from landfills is an effective strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

This bold step could have big impacts on the planet and the day-to-day lives of many Americans. While there is waste in all sectors of our food system, it costs the average American $1,200 annually.

Extending the shelf life of food and creating a clearer understanding of best-by dates will go a long way to help people keep money in their wallets and food on their shelves. Plus, these new guidelines will help more companies and stores donate food to places such as food banks. 

"Everyone has a role to play in reducing food loss and waste, and I hope that these federal commitments will inspire and catalyze action in the private sector and communities around the U.S.," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement, as reported by the Times.

While it is historic for the executive branch to spearhead these efforts, The New York Times wrote: "The strategy falls short of food-waste laws in other countries and even those of some American states. It contains no new regulations." 

However, this announcement joins several other climate regulations by the Biden-Harris administration, from green tax breaks in the Inflation Reduction Act to land conservation through the Bureau of Land Management. 

There is hope that this move will help create a more climate-safe future for generations to come.

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