Agriculture secretary announces goal for cutting food waste

Agriculture secretary announces goal for cutting food waste
In this Aug, 22, 2014, photo, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, right, speaks during a news conference at the Iowa Choice Harvest in Marshalltown, Iowa. Vilsack said his agency plans to spend more than $200 million over the next three years on programs to protect greater sage grouse, regardless of whether the bird receives federal protections. A formal announcement was planned Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

NEW YORK (AP) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the United States’ first national goal for reducing the amount of food that goes to waste.

Vilsack said Wednesday the goal is a 50-percent reduction by the year 2030.

He says the U.S. wastes 133 billion pounds of food every year. That’s 31 percent of the overall food supply.

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency, private industry and nonprofit organizations joined Vilsack in New York City to announce the plan.

Vilsack says wasted food contributes to climate change because it ends up in landfills and generates methane.

He outlined the new goal after touring a food rescue facility in Long Island City, Queens, run by City Harvest.

It collects excess restaurant food for food banks and soup kitchens.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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