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The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing food waste.

Called “No Food Left Behind” the project aims to raise awareness about the problem of wasted food and to help community members find ways to address it. It is being paid for by an 18-month grant from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

“Most people are shocked to learn that 40 percent of the food grown in the U.S. is never eaten,” said Jeanette Hardison, the project manager and co-leader of the coalition’s waste prevention action team. “The impacts of this are staggering. Globally, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the U.S.”

Waste does not just occur via uneaten food that winds up in landfills, Hardison said. Upstream extraction and use of resources to get food from farms to people such as electricity, water, land, soil additives and fuel also are in the mix.

The coalition has signed up 80 households that have accepted a six-week challenge to waste less food. Participants will weigh and record their edible food that has gone to waste. The results will help project with promotional efforts at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market and other outreach during the grant period.

Corvallis is one of several Oregon communities and institutions that received grants from the DEQ. Oregon State State University is using a grant to use new software to help reduce waste in OSU dining halls.

In addition, OSU professor and master food preserver will be hosting a series of food preservation workshops (see information box for dates and subjects).

 Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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