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  • Americans waste over 130 billion pounds of food every year.

  • Most of that food ends up in landfills, where it decomposes, producing greenhouse gases.

  • Meanwhile, 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger.

  • Basically

  • Americans don't consume 30-40 percent of food produced, thanks in part to a lot of

  • confusion about sell by labels and an obsession with perfect produce.

  • According to the Department of Agriculture, food is the single largest component of municipal

  • landfills in the United States.

  • The cost of all that organic waste -- from growing it to disposing of it -- is roughly

  • So, some states have come up with a variety of ways to tackle the problem.

  • Eight states offer incentives to producers and retailers that donate to food banks, hoping

  • that useable waste can help combat food insecurity.

  • Some create an addition tax credit on top of an already existing federal credit, so

  • smaller operations that can't afford to make regular donations will now get more money

  • to do just that.

  • Others create protections so donors don't have to worry about lawsuits over food gone

  • bad.

  • Two more states -- Maryland and Virginia -- have similar bills up for debate,

  • Then, there are the 5 states that are focusing on emissions, restricting the amount of food

  • that producers can dump in the landfill.

  • Maryland, New Jersey, and New York are considering similar proposals.

  • But these restrictions aren't all encompassing.

  • Four out of the 5 states restrict the amount of organic waste from the largest producers

  • only and three states exempt producers that are too far from recycling or composting facilities.

  • Finally, there's California, Oregon, and Colorado, who are using food waste to create

  • biofuel.

  • That biofuel is then used to power -- say, city vehicles in San Diego.

  • Clearly, these policies could reduce our reliance on oil,

  • and, as technology advances, the conversion process becomes faster and faster, making it

  • And while states try to hammer out some kinks, businesses have stepped in the mix.

  • Grocery manufacturers and retailers are working together to adopt standardized date labels

  • on packages.

  • And some companies are claiming the role of middleman -- collecting imperfect produce

  • from farms and restaurants and selling it to consumers at a discount.

  • There are several apps for that.

  • There are also apps to help donate to food pantries, and others that even

  • let you donate a meal when you enjoy one yourself.

  • For years, large farms and retailers have been at odds with environmental groups fighting

  • over policies like bans on plastic bags and regulation over fertilizer use.

  • But reducing food inefficiency?

  • That's something everyone can get behind.

Americans waste over 130 billion pounds of food every year.

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