“[We’re] basically challenging the country to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030,” Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilasack recently told NPR.
Currently, Vilsack says an estimated 133 billion pounds of food is wasted each year. And if that’s hard to fathom, picture this: “It’s enough to fill the Sears Tower [technically now called the Willis Tower] 44 times,” Vilsack says.
As for who’s responsible? Well, pretty much everyone who eats.
We consumers let a lot of food wilt or go sour in our refrigerators. And we may toss out items when they pass their sell-by dates — even though the food is still safe to consume.
On farms, there’s a lot of waste generated — as we documented in this story about lettuce grown in California — when food not quite up to cosmetic standards isn’t harvested. Often times, food also ends up in landfills because it won’t stay fresh long enough to be shipped across the country. Click HERE to read more!