California State Board to focus on food waste in meeting

Mar 1, 2013
by WLJ

—Up to 40 percent of food production is not eaten.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss the issue of food waste at its upcoming meeting on March 5 in Sacramento. The meeting is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), 1220 N Street, Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

“There are opportunities at all stages of agricultural production and distribution to reduce food loss,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We should continue to look at approaches and innovations that allow farmers and processors to minimize food loss, generate revenue, and contribute back to our communities.”

In August 2012, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report that indicated that 40 percent of food within the U.S. goes uneaten. California is the largest agricultural producer in the nation and is also one of the top 10 leading states for food insecurity in the nation. How the issue of food waste/food loss can help address food insecurity within communities is an area of interest for the state board. Other innovations surrounding the issue of food waste, such as energy production and composting, will also be addressed.

Invited speakers include:

Dana Gunders, Natural Resources Defense Council; Lindsay Coate, Ag Against Hunger; Mike Bradley, California Farm Bureau Federation; Robert Branham, The Branham Group; Laura Abshire, National Restaurant Association; Cherie Chastain, Sierra Nevada Brewery; Daniel Morash, California Safe Soil; and Bonnie Weigel, Food Share Inc.

“Collectively, farmers, retailers and restaurateurs can minimize food waste,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “This meeting will help outline some of the key national partnerships that exist to address food waste and how these initiatives could be beneficial for California.”

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representatives and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture. — WLJ