Why food matters
The production and consumption of food leads to significant environmental impacts, and an estimated 25 to 40 percent of all food produced or imported for consumption in the United States is never eaten. The 2050 Vision
identify wasted food prevention as a priority for Oregon because of the combined environmental burdens of food production, distribution, refrigeration, preparation and final disposal.
What DEQ is doing
Aimed at helping producers and large consumers make sound environmental decisions, DEQ has prepared a series of documents regarding the environmental footprints
of a variety of foods.
DEQ also recently finalized its Strategy for Preventing the Wasting of Food
, which identifies nine projects that will change the current conversation around preventing the wasting of food and make significant, measurable contributions to the state’s waste reduction goals.
DEQ also works with local partners to rescue edible food for redistribution to Oregon’s food insecure populations. And for wasted food that cannot be prevented or rescued, DEQ works to find the best end-of-life solutions possible, such as composting, anaerobic digestion and agricultural use. DEQ has also sponsored research
to compare the environmental impacts of different end-of-life options.
Governor’s Executive Order to reduce and regulate greenhouse gas emissions
On May 10, 2020, Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order 20-04 directing multiple state agencies to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the worst effects of climate change. Paragraph 4.F of the Executive Order directs DEQ to “take actions necessary to prevent and recover food waste, with the goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.”
DEQ has prepared a preliminary work plan that outlines the actions DEQ will take to achieve the governor’s goal. That work plan can be found here: