Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

VIDEO: Pingree tells Congressional committee that reducing food waste calls for common sense solutions

May 25, 2016
Press Release
Chefs, advocates spread out over Capitol Hill to urge support for Pingree date labeling bill

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree testified before the House Agriculture Committee today to kick off the first-ever Congressional hearing focused on the problem of food waste in the United States.

"When good food goes to waste on the farm, it means the resources used to grow that food—fuel, labor and water—is also wasted.  When it goes to waste in a local restaurant it means less revenue for the owner.  And wherever and whenever food is wasted, it means less food for the 50 million Americans who are food insecure," Pingree told the committee.

Up to 40% of all food produced in the United States is wasted.  In December, Pingree introduced the Food Recovery Act, a comprehensive package of proposals designed to reduce food waste in America.  Last week, Pingree and Senator Dick Blumenthal also introduced a bill to reform date labeling, which has been identified as one of the most cost-effective methods for reducing food waste.

"There is no single solution to the problem of food waste.  And not all of the solutions will be simple or easy.  But many—if not most—of the solutions are common sense proposals that should be things we can all agree on," Pingree said in her testimony this morning.

Also testifying at today's hearing are experts and advocates from the Natural Resources Defense Council, ReFED, Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other organizations.

Later today advocates and well-known chefs like Tom Colicchio will be visiting Members of Congress, urging them to support the Pingree-Blumenthal date labeling bill.