The EPA reports that the average American throws away just over 1200 calories in food per day, contributing to issues of hunger and climate change. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has developed many strategies to combat this unnecessary waste, turning recently to faith communities for help. By encouraging religious communities to address this issue, she says, "we are tapping into incredibly motivated and dedicated people." Empowering faith leaders to speak on this important issue isn't just an effective way to disseminate information, it exemplifies the moral case for reducing food waste.
Blessed Tomorrow leader, Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries, is a major advocate of food responsibility, enacting initiatives in her network of over the 100,000 congregations, representing 45 million people.
The movement to reduce food waste is a vast one with members of every faith tradition doing their part. Organizations such as Hazon, a Jewish environmental organization which produced a food waste awareness film, Just Eat It, as well as, Muslims around the world who are challenging one another to enact sustainable practices during the holy month of Ramadan.
Maria Godoy | NPR
Separation of church and state?
When it comes to fighting food waste, the U.S. government is looking to partner up with the faithful.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday launched the Food Steward's Pledge, an initiative to engage religious groups of all faiths to help redirect the food that ends up in landfills to hungry mouths. It's one piece of the agency's larger plan to reduce food waste
by 50 percent by 2030.
"We can make leaps and bounds in this process if we tackle this problem more systemically and bring a broader number of stakeholders to the table," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy tells us. By engaging religious communities, she says, "we are tapping into incredibly motivated and dedicated people."
Food waste connects to the core values of many faith communities, particularly helping the poor and feeding the hungry, McCarthy notes.
As we've reported, more than 1,200 calories per American per day are wasted, according to U.S. government figures. Loss occurs on the farm, at the retail level and in homes. We consumers often toss out foods because they've passed their sell-by date— but are still just fine to eat — or because we buy more than we can eat before it goes bad.
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