Announcement: Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Announces Food Waste Prevention Week in California

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is pleased to announce March 5th through 9th, 2018, as “Food Waste Prevention Week” in the State of California.

The Governor released a letter today in support of “Food Waste Prevention Week” and OPR, in collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, CalRecycle, the Strategic Growth Council, the California Department of Public Health, the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, The Southern California Public Health Alliance, and many other state, local, and private sector partners, is pleased to announce March 5th through 9th, 2018, as “Food Waste Prevention Week” in the State of California.

CalRecycle estimates that Californians throw away almost 12 billion pounds of food each year. That food waste amounts to 18% of all landfill use in this state. In contrast, nearly 5 million Californians are food insecure, lacking consistent access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to lead a healthy, active life.

There are large financial and environmental costs associated when food goes unused—these costs include energy, water, fertilizer, land, production, storage and transportation, not to mention retail and consumer costs.

Food waste prevention also aligns with California’s 75 Percent Initiative   to significantly reduce solid waste in landfills by 2020. Unused food in landfills decomposes very slowly, releasing methane   , a greenhouse gas approximately 80 times stronger than CO2 at trapping heat over a 20 year period, and contributes to climate change. To protect shared resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is imperative that everyone takes part in diverting usable food from landfills.

This week, in alignment with National Nutrition Month’s theme “Going Further with Food,” OPR and partners encourage the public to take simple food waste prevention actions such as sharing or freezing food before it becomes inedible and using leftovers. It is also an opportunity to learn more about food waste solutions in the worksite, community, and county and state level. There are many innovative policies and solutions that go beyond individual action to reduce waste. Together we work to take steps to reduce waste, to feed people rather than landfills, and to combat climate change. Working together, we make a difference.