Reducing Food Waste And OU Kosher’s Food Lifeline’s Food Availability Site For COVID-19

Washington D.C. March 3, 2020 – Today the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) — a collaborative effort of the Consumer Brands Association, FMI – The Food Industry Association, and the National Restaurant Association—released a new report, Messy but Worth It: Lessons Learned from Fighting Food Waste, that highlights experience-driven advice to keep perfectly good food out of landfills.

The Statistics

According to Feeding America, 52 billion pounds of food from United States manufacturers, grocery stores and restaurants with a worth of $218 billion end us in landfills. Though this is a mere fraction of the waste generated by consumers, who are responsible for close to 85%, it’s still substantial. The FDA estimates that between 30-40 percent of the United States food supply goes to waste.

What Are The Solutions?

According to the published report, Messy but Worth It: Lessons Learned from Fighting Food Waste, there are certain strategies presented that could potentially reduce waste. Among the suggestions are education within the organization, deciding to work with a nonprofit partner who can donate the food and creating a way to measure the waste.

It Will Also Help Your Bottomline

Champions 12.3, a global coalition dedicated to tackling food waste, analyzed 700 food manufacturing, retail, and service companies in 17 countries and found that half of those that invested in measures to reduce food waste saw at least a 14-fold return on those investments. Even more interesting was the finding that big payoffs came from small changes — such as consumer education and clear date labeling — that helped minimize food surpluses close to the consumption stage. Similarly, in an analysis of more than 25 food-waste solutions in the U.S., think tank ReFED found that the most cost-effective, high-return initiatives tend to be aimed at preventing food surpluses.

OU’s Giving Program

Rabbi Menachem Genack (left) and Rabbi Moshe Elefant of the Orthodox Union

(photo credit: HOWARD BLAS)

The Orthodox Union has a system in place to support local communities. It’s the Kosher Food Lifeline: Food Availability COVID-19 Network. Companies need only fill out an online form and the information is instantly transmitted. It’s one corporate option of attacking food waste that will enormously help Americans who are vulnerable due to the coronavirus.

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Genack
Steven Genack has worked in the OU Kashrut Division for nearly ten years with a specialty in ingredients. Before that he was a practicing attorney. He was the previous editor of a Newspaper and continues to contribute articles to numerous Jewish publications. During college, he took a summer session at Harvard University where he studied journalism and screenwriting. He is the author of an upcoming book relating to his family’s Torah. He has a wide array of interests including playing tennis, golf and basketball and reading biographies and memoirs. He has worked with special needs children in the past and feels passionate about their causes. He is currently working on a few books.