APRIL 29, 2015 BY 

Americans have so much food waste, we could fill the Rosebowl with it. Daily.

Virginia Till, Recycling Specialist of the EPA’s Environmental Stewardship Unit for the District 8 region (CO, MT, UT, WY, ND, SD and 27 tribes), came to Steamboat yesterday to speak on the topic of Resource Preservation, discussing the EPA’s programs such as The Food Recovery Challenge and ways to help prevent one of the largest streams of waste in our country.

Till illuminated the crowd on several tools to help consumers in this quest. The Food Recovery Heirarchy Pyramid (right) shows the most preferred methods to the least preferred methods of food waste reduction – while composting is a great method to divert food waste from the landfill, reducing the surplus of food before it’s generated and distributed is the best method.

It seems obvious- purchase and consume more wisely, donate fresh food to food banks, and make biofuel or compost the rest. But Americans are slow on the uptake of this global adaptation, and continue to waste up to 40% of our nations precious food – whether it’s food we produce state-side or its food we import from elsewhere. With 18% of our country’s citizens falling into the food impoverished category, you’d think we’d be able to balance this number a little better.

By working with fellow community members we can affect change, and our own Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Campus is already making progress in doing so through their student-driven Food Recovery program, with which they are donating meals from their excess cafeteria food.  Our partners on the Northwest Food Coalition are always expanding our local food, food waste, and food education programs as well, and this group is always looking for enthusiastic community members if you’re looking for ways to help.

In case you missed this evening, Virginia’s talk was recorded: