Farm Bureau Resolution Addressing Food Waste and Resource Recovery Approved by State Association Delegates
Cook County Farm Bureau Board approved a resolution addressing the tremendous amount of food that is landfilled. In Illinois, twenty percent of the nineteen million tons of general landfilled waste is comprised of food.
Forty percent of all food in the United State gets wasted. One in seven Americans are food insecure. In Illinois, more than one million people struggle with hunger and food insecurity. While rescuing and redistributing surplus food is not a cure for hunger, it is an important stopgap in meeting immediate anti-hunger efforts.
In brief, the new policy provides the following:
- Implementing state-based liability protections for food donors and rescue organizations that expand and strengthen those provided by the federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Food rescue includes donation or recovery of surplus food used for feeding hungry people.
- The USDA and the Food and Drug Administration clarifying food safety donation regulations for pre-cooked and pre-packaged food items.
- Updating USDA’s definition of compost so that a greater number of potential buyers, including farms, golf courses, or other operations near waterways, are encouraged to purchase compost. Compost refers to a mixture of various decaying organic waste substances, such as food scraps, dead leaves, or manure, used as soil fertilizer.
- Streamlining and simplify the permitting process for compost facilities, including those that accept landscape waste and food scraps. Food scraps include pre-consumer food scraps, which includes waste generated during the manufacturing and production of food prior to the item being sold and processed food scraps.
- A separate permitting pathway for anaerobic digestion of source-separated food waste that includes requirements similar to those imposed on composting source-separated food waste.
The policy was approved by delegates from throughout Illinois during the Illinois Agricultural Association Annual Meeting in Chicago in December.