Reports / Reports

Food Matters: Empowering Cities to Tackle Food Waste

Up to 40 percent of all food in the United States is wasted. Producing food that we don’t consume also swallows up roughly 20 percent of America’s cropland, fertilizers, and agricultural water—and generates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 37 million passenger vehicles each year. Yet, 41 million Americans lack consistent access to adequate
and nutritious food.

Cities are uniquely positioned to lead the fight against food waste. Cities can be more nimble in their policy development and program implementation and have direct regulatory control over solid waste and many public health issues that dovetail with food waste. By reducing wasted food, cities can stabilize municipal waste management costs and meet climate and sustainability goals. By rescuing surplus, cities can address food gaps. And by recycling food scraps, cities can minimize what ends up in landfills.