The State of California Board of Food and Agriculture recently convened a special panel to discuss the topic of food waste, according to a story in the Fresno Bee.
Much of the discussion focused on the amount of edible food that goes to waste (a National Resource Defenses Council study states that 40% of food in the United States goes uneaten). Board members heard about programs that donate excess food from farms to food banks, ways to educate consumers about reducing food waste and goals for increasing the amount of uneaten food that is donated. They agreed that California is in a unique position to address the issue as largest agricultural producer in the nation.
Given that the focus of the discussion was edible food that goes to waste, those are worthy goals. But what about the food scraps that aren’t suitable for donation? With food waste contributing to 15.5 % of California’s waste stream, composting would certainly help reduce that piece.
Returning organic materials to soils drastically reduces the environmental impacts of landfills, reduces greenhouse gases, creates jobs, and helps sustain California's agricultural industry.
CAW has continuously supported composting and supports AB 323 (Chesbro) which would:
• Get rid of disincentives for recycling organics, such as a state law that virtually subsidizes the use of this material as landfill cover.
• Require businesses that generate a lot of food scraps or yard debris to sign up for recycling of this material.
Find out more about how removing organics from the waste stream helps farmers and the environment.