RICHMOND—The United States enjoys a bountiful food supply thanks to the hard work of its farmers and ranchers. Sometimes, it’s easy to take this abundance for granted and consumers become unintentionally wasteful. Whether it’s a forgotten bag of apples on the counter or peaches that aren’t perfect at the grocery store, food waste may seem like only a few scraps here or there. However, it adds up, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF has joined the “No Taste for Waste” campaign, partnering with Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, Valent BioSciences and FLM/Harvest, and collaborating with the CropLife Foundation and Meredith Agrimedia to bring awareness to the issue of food waste. Food loss and waste eats up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. food supply. Consumers are responsible for most food loss and waste, racking up almost 90 billion pounds annually, or 20 percent of the U.S. food supply. The retail sector is responsible for about 10 percent, totaling 43 billion pounds. America’s farmers and ranchers are using technology to conserve resources, donating crops to local food banks and adjusting what they plant to match demand. “Consumers and farmers can work together to do their part to reduce food waste,” noted Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “For years farmers have opened their farms to gleaners and come up with creative ways to use items on their farm so they don’t go to waste, such as feeding livestock with blemished or surplus fruits and vegetables or composting food waste to use as an organic fertilizer.” Additionally, Virginia farmers who donate food to food banks are eligible for a state tax credit. The Virginia Food Crops Donation Tax Credit allows farmers a credit of up to 30 percent of the fair market value of a donation, not to exceed $5,000. For more information about the “No Taste for Waste” campaign and information about reducing waste, visit notasteforwaste.org. Media: Contact Banks at 804-290-1114.