Prevention of wasted food

Roundtable: Reducing wasted food - The greenhouse gas connection

April 20 (10 to 10:30 a.m.) | Join online

Please join MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop for a roundtable conversation during Earth Week to examine the connection between preventing wasted food and its significant contribution to climate change.

The event will highlight four Minnesota organizations that are leading projects to address this issue. Representatives from each organization will join the commissioner in addressing how food waste contributes to rising greenhouse gas emissions, and outline strategies to prevent food from going to waste and feed those in need.   

These four organizations received MPCA grants for projects that aim to increase food rescue and waste prevention, a priority for the Walz Administration.  

Wasted food is responsible for at least 2.6% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions — equivalent to more than 37 million cars, or one in seven cars on the road. Preventing and reducing wasted food represents a significant opportunity to mitigate climate change. 

Prevention of wasted food and food rescue

"Wasted food" is avoidable waste from edible and prepared food that was not eaten for reasons such as overproduction, spoiling, or poor quality after being prepared.

"Food waste" is unavoidable waste from food scraps that cannot normally be consumed, yet can still be “recycled” (composted), such as banana peels, egg shells, vegetable stalks, and animal bones.

A lot of impact

Economic impact: A family of 4 in Minnesota could save $1200 each year if they reduced their food waste.

Social impact: 1 in 12 households in Minnesota struggle with food insecurity (USDA, 2019).

Environmental impact: In Minnesota, food makes up 18% of landfills where it breaks down without oxygen and produces methane, a "greenhouse gas" with heat-trapping potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide (U.S. EPA).