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Environment & Climate Change

Battle Creek “ideal place” to lead nation on path to zero food waste

Bill Schroer told us that we waste about 30% of our food in America.
United States Department of Agriculture
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Bill Schroer told us that we waste about 30% of our food in America.

The Next Idea

There's a halfway decent chance you scraped food into the trash can today. Or maybe you pitched an apple core out the car window on your way to work.

If so, then you are contributing to America's food waste problem, and it's a big one.

Some $218 billion big.

Battle Creek wants to be America's test laboratory and lead the way to zero food waste.

Bill Schroer is with the Food Waste Solutions Committee in Battle Creek. 

According to Schroer, 30% of the food we produce in America gets wasted.

The United States Department of Agriculture has set a coal of cutting our nation's food waste in half by 2030, and Schroer believes that Battle Creek is the "ideal place" to start figuring out how to make that goal a reality. 

"Battle Creek is a food town," he said. "For a town of 50,000 people, Battle Creek has a tremendous amount of food assets and food resources that can be leveraged against really a number of issues, but food waste is one of the things that we've identified."

Schroer added that Battle Creek is "relatively small, relatively isolated, ... and relatively reflective of the larger universe," making it an ideal test market. 

"In many ways, Battle Creek is uniquely structured and situated to be a test market for this issue," he said. 

In our conversation below, Schroer tells us more about the problem of food waste in America,and how Battle Creek hopes to lead the nation's effort to reduce the amount of food we throw away. 

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