Press Release | 114th Congress
Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson
Food Waste from Field to Table
--As Prepared for Delivery--
“Thank you Mr. Chairman. Welcome to today’s witnesses. And welcome, Congresswoman Pingree, to the Committee. I appreciate your efforts to raise awareness and address this issue.
“I’m probably not the only one who finds terms like “sell by” or “best by” confusing. This confusion leads to a lot of the food waste we see in this country and I’m glad that we're looking at the issue today.
“American consumers are increasingly less connected to the farm, to where their food comes from. And, I think, a lot of people no longer view food as valuable. When I was growing up, for example, my mom used every part of the animal. That’s no longer the case and food waste has only increased.
“Producers have done such a good job of creating an abundant food supply that a lot of folks don’t think twice about tossing out food that may not look perfect or has surpassed a “best by” or “sell by” date stamped on the box.
“This is a challenge but I also think it presents a great opportunity for production agriculture. While many have no problem throwing food away, many Americans are still struggling to feed their families. There is a role for farmers and ranchers to play. They can, and should, step up to the plate to meet these needs.
“Again, I’m happy we’re beginning to explore this issue and look forward to a constructive conversation. I think this is an area where we can work across party lines and forge a diverse coalition to tackle food waste in this country.
“I look forward to today’s testimony and yield back.”