Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said Monday she is formally presenting federal legislation to reduce food waste.

Pingree, who first announced the proposal in October, said during a news conference in Portland that she would formally submit the bill later Monday.

Pingree said her proposal takes a comprehensive approach to reducing food waste in America by helping farms, retailers, restaurants and schools waste less food, diverting high quality food to food banks and turning non-edible food scraps into energy or compost. Among the provisions of the bill, it would standardize the “best by” date labeling that manufacturers use on food.

A new release from Pingree’s office said 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. is wasted and that uneaten food at retailers, restaurants, and homes costs $161 billion annually, which amounts to over $1,500 a year for a family of four.


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