tv Hearing on Sustainability the Food System CSPAN August 14, 2022 5:17am-7:00am EDT
for the food systems to be a climate solution while supporting human health and livelihood and i recognize myself for five minutes. scorching temperatures and widespread disasters are putting lives at risk and harming communities across america. this week, families in southwest virginia were the latest to face deadly floods like those that swept through yellowstone national park. at the same time there is too little water across much of the west leading to wildfires and dangerously low levels. and stretched and forcing families and industries alike or risk air potential blackout and europe is facing what could be the worst heat wave in 200
years. so it was disappointing to learn that senator manchin is rejecting investments to address this investments and reduce on expensive fossil fuels and helping to create jobs. the american people have consistently supported cleaner cheaper energy like wind and solar. while this is a quite disappointing, we must forward and use all of the tools we have. the cost of inaction are too high and climate injustice is too great. and our kids' futures are too precious of the the liement crisis is challenging our ability to put foods on dining room tables across america.
major disasters left $12.5 billion to crops and range lands and north dakota, persist at the present time damage worth of wheat, soybeans and corn. texas lost $2 billion in the aftermath in that weird winter storm. and extreme hurricane has lost a half billion dollars. these impacts will worsen if we do not address them and the costs are being passed on and congress must invest in climate smart food system that lowers costs and increases food security and incorporates solution from farm to fork. every person along the food chain from producers to consumers and everyone in between can make it more
sustainable and each step represents an opportunity for renovation and including laws labeling and strengthening and technical assistance and includes europe ban -- urban agriculture. many of these solutions have an impact. we can cut methane by reducing food waste and reduce by expanding the use of feed like seaweed and farmers proper grazing techniques that help. moving quickly on these solutions will be curable as we clean up the food spliel system which makes up 30% of heat trapping pollution and make
progress on deforevers traition degraded soils and water scarcity. with the support of president biden we have taken steps. the america cap rescue plan included $3.6 billion spapped and support disadvantaged farmers and made progress which invested in initiatives and farm to school grants and the biden-harris announced a new framework leveraging $2 billion investments that will reduce pollution. as we move closer to the net zero economy we have an economy that works for americans
ensuring access to safe healthy foods and we are go to go get good advice from our witnesses and i look forward to that. i recognize ranking member dpraifs for his opening statement. mr. graves: we represent coastal communities in the gulf of mexico and we share strong desire to make sure that our communities are safe and sustainable. there is no division between us on that. however, the opening statement that was iniad connecting flooding in virginia to climate change is a tenuous connection and i think the only way we are going to solve this problem is if we are sticking to science. let's talk about science. we could cut every bit of emissions today and wouldn't
have a single impact, a single impact on changes of weather patterns for 50 years. the models, maybe 75 years or maybe 100 years. in fact, i take that back. if we cover the united states, it wouldn't have an impact. if the entire world cuts emissions, 170 years away and see changes in the if the models are accurate. and let me tell you what is important that is science-based. one ton of emissions that the united states has reduced, for every one ton, we have reduced, china has increased by four. global environment. we are headed in the wrong direction. china gets to increase their
emissions 50% and releasing more than the united states, european union, japan and south korea. we can talk about this to make people feel good. the truth is that the policies being pushed today by this administration are actually causing greater harm to the environment. we just saw inflation numbers at 9.1%, the highest number in 40 years. gas prices have doubled. natural gas prices have tripled and pushing people in energy poverty and we are having greater emissions as a result of this strategy. you failed at affordability and failed on emissions and energy security. the president said today in saudi arabia asking that nation for more oil, choosing cartels,
opec-plus cartels over my home state. and. [indiscernible] >> and come back to reality. we are talking about farms today and farms-to-table. you know, we we have seen a huge decrease in the fertilizer and driving up costs for farmers. since the 1950's, you have seen an efficiency in the united states increase in terms of our farm production -- since the 1940's, 3 100% and in terms of emissions per bushels or aches of acres of crops produced and pushing 13.1 million people into
a hunger crisis into what is happening with you crepe and u.s. energy policy and making unand diesel prices are going up and spiking. the unavailability or unaffordability of fertilizer. this administration's energy policy are causing all of these problems and there is a solution. the solution is as we have shown and science shows more domestic energy production results in lower production emissions and virtually than anywhere else in the world. just this week, just this week, we had a bill in the natural resources committee that we are banning critical minerals, like lithium, nickel, copper, things
that are required for renewable energy. and projected to have a 400 to 600% and 4,000 percent. we can't wish to have this stuff to happen. we have to have a strategy. the administration has said no to oil and gas. they say to no to critical minerals that is a none of the above. it is feying the environment and failing our energy security and economic impacts as well. i yield back. ms. castor: thank you all for being here. we are focused on how we improve the food supply chain to lower costs so keep that at the center of your testimony along with the climate solutions of how we
in climate. due to this critical role and i encourage and perhaps even adding it. one oven overlooked is climate. [indiscernible] one key climate leader said time is more important. new is good but now is better. and solutions are better now. and they are fume and methane and get critical. [indiscernible]
family of four spends $2,000 and how that dropped grocery bags to food insecure americans that could be fed. if all of our countries are in one place, this mega farm would cover more than nebraska, missouri and oklahoma and use as much water. and harvest enough food and instead of being in that, there is. [indiscernible] >> food is the number one contributor inland fills and all told, the climate impact of food in the u.s. and wasting less food increasing supply which makes food more supportal and preventing food waste is.
mr. morrison: effective. [indiscernible] >> 200 making commitments and general mills reductions of 19% to 33%. and more than double the previous year. nevertheless with this momentum, we have reduced our food waste since 2016. the u.k. has achieved 27%. [indiscernible] >> we are sending for state and local governments, increasing donations and liability protections and. [indiscernible]
time to act is now. thank you. ms. castor: thank you for your testimony. next, mr. swisher, you are recognized to give a summary of your testimony. mr. swisher: my apologies. good morning and members of the select committee, i'm kent swisher president of the association. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. we are the trade association representing the industry in the united states and cappedda. has 32 member companies and represent over 95% of the north
american production. the industry includes independent reppedders which are family-owned companies that process their own. it accounts for over 10 billion and employs tens of thousand dollars in full-time jobs. and rural. rendering is the cooking of meat not and referred to as the original repsychelers to ensure and the animal products that we cannot eat into father for livestock feed and industrial uses. the industry is to reduction of and americans of an animal
edible and the other 40% is inedible. rerpding these these for and 13.6 million acres would make up for the protein that would result without ingredients and pet fuels and livestock. rendering which lead to emissions. an average plant has five times more greenhouse gas emissions. and it would be full in four
and to other reclichelers. i look forward to being part of the discussion as you consider future initiatives and the important role of rendering and reduce ing carbon and any legislative effort adequately recognize the leaders in order to avoid unintended consequences in the future. ms. castor: dr. creep, you are -- dr. c emp p. ms. cep: i testify on the national awed do bonn society social with hoe enjoy bird watching and how we can mitigate climate change. and i would like to start by
telling you about a visit to the dakotas. and he knew the conservation plan. and he knew because his 90-year-old father who lives on the ranch that the front pasture sounded with his long absent birds returned and once again teaming with birds was a sign of improved activity. and i think stories audobon partnership with farming and ranching across america. they know that birds are indicators of the health of the places they love. the water levels, they talk about bird songs. they know from experience that their livelihoods are
intertwined with biodiversity and climate change. this is implementation of agriculture and forever try practice practices. and support wildlife habitat and improve our capacity. people who farm, ranch and fish feel the effects of climate change. from 1980 through 2016, weather and climate disasters averaged $6.3 events, but this has tripled to 7.8. wildfires in washington, and flooding in louisiana, the hurricanes and tornadoes in florida and the dplais years in the midwest, that is not the last five years, that was all
last year. that escalation happened the loss of bio diversity. north america has 2/3 of the wildlife it had. wild builder populations has plummeted but not every bird has suffered. speaks yes, sir have committed to protecting the safeguards have rebounded. and this demonstrates how can support biodiversity and important outcomes like water quality and quawpt. those the shorttail grows that are grazed, the northwests in forests that soak up water and the plaque bird northwesting in
lifts up the many benefits of working lands to support food production, water and more. and such conservation can be beneficial for all, including private land owners across the country and consumers. different solutions are needed and across communities and landscapes. the conservation forever try research and extension policy and programs are important to delivering as promised but there is more interest in these programs. 46% of valid occupations went unfunded meaning producers submitted and opted in submitting $1.1 billion of voluntary proposals in just one
year. we can and should expand these programs by of while promoting the partnerships. such work is part of what is needed to extend. if we can scale these, we can work together to and water outcomes and the resilient supply chains. we do not face a zero-sum. thank you for the opportunity today. ms. castor: miss brown, you are recognized. ms. brown: thank you. thank you so much for this. i'm co-executive director. we are diverse of a network in
climate change. and the truth is and this in climate crisis and at the same time, a localized food system that will generate resources and truly is an impossible situation. [indiscernible] access that we have and not reliant on the industrialized system but not nimble and work there is a significant opportunity to increst in a system and increase the amount
of food. according to 20 # analysis -- [indiscernible] representing a major contribution to the economy. my request from the federal government and very necessary. one, food system of community and bio regional community and racial and climate -- [indiscernible] >> characteristic of the natural environment. we need to have equity. d.m. anand: --
it should be the by confronting and reattributing and our federal government is one of the most important stakeholders in this transformation and i encourage all of us to keep an open mind. thank you very much. ms. castor: thanks to all of our witnesses to your testimony. we will move to member questions and i'm going to recognize the gentleman from illinois for five minutes. >> you know, this committee has been around for four years and makes me sad that after four years, many of our membership, we have continued to tell stories about scoring political stories and saying this is
political points. a while ago you both of those to cut the cost of energy for our farmers and cut the cost of natural gas and i don't recall any noise when donald trump went to the saudis and said quiem going to remove unless you cut down oil production so we can save our oil industry. price of oil went up double digits the next day, the quickest. doing an admirable job. and repeating the talking points. and they were access to european
markets and makes them profit seeking businesses and saw that when and fell. so what are we going to do. how are we going to lower costs and cut from fossil fuel and not do it by scoring cheap talking points. let's talk about the actual science and give a stable planet to our kids, we have to not om emitting fossil fuels, we have to go back. in order to do that, the om ways that i have seen that have taken co-2 out of the atmosphere, we can put indirect capture in. and i would like to start with you, what tools we hear, and
short rotation, what are the ways that we can actually increase the wealth for our farmers that would reduce as much co-2 from the atmosphere? if you are clean, war the areas you would like to see pulling c omp-2 and makes sense for our farmers? >> great question. thank i, congressman. i would like to talk about the structure that is needed to implement the practices in addition to the practices themselves and the type of work and sustainable practices that need to be in the field and not just isolated requires technical
assistance and every field is different and every forest track is different. so part of that relies on a strong delivery service and system. whether that is the natural resource service system and state agencies, partners and augdobon and helping to develop conservation plans and certified foresters on staff and this is on the local solutions and what works best for specific soil tests that folks are producing. >> we have a program in illinois where we have been paying farmers to reduce their crop insurance payments for every acre they put into crops.
we have a program to do that nationally. do you have any comments? >> i'm happy to follow you up on that specific bill. i'm from the eastern shore of maryland. and we have a great program, that one was developed with the chesapeake bay and cover crops at a voluntary working lands and there are different ways to scale that and i'm happy to work with your office on that specific bill and make it for producers to make it not in the individual fields. >> i'm out of time. if anybody has further comments, i would be interested in on short grazing and soil health. but i yield back.
ms. castor: representative miller, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for tig us today. i don't think anyone on this committee denies climate change. your world has been changing since it has been created and we have the science to deal with it and we are lrng every day. and i appreciate your concern over the flooding in southern west virginia and virginia and recognizes the unique phenomenon that when it rains too much because of our moiptous terrain and it goes down. my community in huntington had a flash flood because there was rain and boom, there it was. and my friends had nine feet of water in their business.
we need to work on solutions on our individual. i'm a bison farmer and i have owned this farm for the past 28 years and i'm a member of the farm bureau and i understand diseases that occurs during drought and sometimes the government makes suggestions or policies that end up not working as a living >> i am a vice and former and i've known the bison farm in west virginia for the past 28 years. i'm also a member of the farm euro. i understand things like episodic in barraging disease which occurs during droughts. i understand the government does make suggestions and policy that
end up not working like flora rose as a living defense which became a nightmare for fathers later because they were fighting them off their crops. and i understand the lack of meat processing plants. i'm aware of the struggles that our farmers and ranchers face bringing goods to the market. they operate on thin markets making a living they work hard. i've seen bad years where they face when the harvest is not to and i've seen it when hurts come to disease. -- succumb to disease. these things are often out of our control, -- unfortunately bad policy decisions that push inflation and gas prices and diesel prices to record high, this week we learned inflation last month was 9.1% the highest
in 40 years. for our food chains to supply -- arrived we must have the resources to do it. we have to make it easier to hire drivers to make the worker shortage better and lower fuel cost and produce more fertilizer here in the united states. -- it means not allowing them to dictate our agriculture policies and why not listen and take the approach that valances the needs of our people for serving our country for future generations. many people that live on both coasts that -- where there is so much population they do not understand it is why over country that not only feeds you but he needs you. as a bison farmer myself, i am aware of how it is to make full use of the herd that we raise on our lands. those who live on the lands before us knew that they had to
use every the animal they had in order to survive. that is why i have so much respect for your industry. in your testimony you mentioned the high-tech process that some rendering tech weeks use. can you ask wayne the supply chain crisis we are facing today and how it's impacted your industry. and how we can assist that through -- deliveries or equipment shortages? >> inc. you this apply -- thank you. the supply chain crisis has impacted us in multiple ways. in one way, in our shipping of our product and exporting of our proteins we are highly dependent on export markets, we filled containers and ship product with containers. and you know there was a major issue needing containers to our plants and containers were going back to asia empty when we had product to put in the
containers. on the others, -- at every grocery store you see, we have going in there and picking up expired. every restaurant here on capitol hill will have vats of used cooking oil that we pick up. any disruptions in the supply chain affects our business on both inns. >> can you explain how the rendering industry actually uses all the food that is not consumed and what they do? and what top products you create? >> we will have to take the question for the record. we will stay on time. >> thank you very much. >> we are recognized for five minutes.
the food supply chain is being committed to and being harmed by rising -- needs in climate change. the un's ever is asian now these -- food chain -- greenhouse gas emissions. the northwest cherry growers including my home state in oregon they represent oregon washington montana and utah they said the heat down the events of last july resulted in a loss of 20% of the states cherry crop. i also want to recognize the passing of men's and a 38-year-old farmer who died last year during the 115 degree heat wave in oregon. we must make our food chains more resistant and negate the role that they fuel in emissions. creating unnecessary waves and straining our natural resources.
-- they reduce the overall carbon footprint changes to grazing, nuclear and -- climate smart commodities brand to expand their work to tackle emissions from production. i want to ask ms. brown held the federal government and help small biz this is an nonprofits that are seeking to address emissions in drill sector to more effectively be able to access ran and which federal grants have been effective in helping you meet your organization goals to mark >> thank you for the question i was working to examine how government can streamline and even eyes these auspices so they are a lot more accessible currently is not assessable and have trusted technical assistant and technical facilitators in
the region to work with accessing these resources with farmers. for us, the partnership was an interesting example that allowed us to create a new program to help support -- and facilitate further resources for our community. and another example i wanted to highlight is that our partner -- which is a small food aggregation club has taken on a leadership challenge to light for 5 million federal grant. for a carbon incentive fund pilot. they have very smart people in the team that has experience in grant writing and they help with -- how cumbersome the process is. finding funds is nearly impossible and most farming groups do not have grant writers
on the team. >> thank you that is helpful. i met with a donor and recently they use federal assistance to transform their energy and now have on most all their energy coming solar panels it will pay for itself in a few years. i have a question -- you out light and number of bills that introduce foodways challenges. what issues have not received sufficient attention from congress >> --? >> i think the ones that are starting to receive or attention are the extension of liability actions. for donation. there's been a lot of attention towards donation late late area what is not receiving attention is how to prevent the food from going to waste and displays. -- in the first place. when there's food wasted there
is money wasted with it. things like how much food is being wasted in food that is purchased by the federal government, any sort of measurement technique to understand how much the department -- actually wind up throwing out and the cost of that with it. so that is something that is not received much attention lately at all or ever. >> i appreciate that. it's important to note any places in the country we have significant amounts of food insecurity rate we can do a much better job of aligning the food waste issues and addressing the serious problem of -- in our communities. i will yield back the seconds i have remaining. >> next we go to mr. lebanon. we will recognize you for five minutes. x excuse me, my fault mr. palmer you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you.
on food waste i would like to point out waste in our country is in our schools. a direct result of government food or grams that began with the obama administration after we saw obama's nutrition program went into effect there were over one million school kids quit eating school lunches altogether. it's estimated that somewhere between 30 and for -- 50% in all public school systems is thrown away. i think that needs to be part of the discussion. also, it's interesting to me -- both sides are guilty of politicizing this. the facts are the facts. if it were not for fossil fuel, we would have hundreds of millions of people malnourished and possibly starving to death. the fact of the matter is, since we introduced modern farming
techniques that are fuel and fossil fuels and machinery like harvesters and planters and transportation vehicles and processing and refrigeration these are things that are byproducts of the fossil fuel industry even though the population has doubled. you cannot see this but the number of people that are dying from starvation has gone down -- i mean like a sinking ship. that is a good thing. what we found is, when you introduce these policies that are being advocated for how we produce food and vied energy, it can have catastrophic results. just look at true lockup. you've got people marching on the government capital in sri lanka and the neverland's we are seeing the dire prices that
government demands create. -- the government mandated chemical fertilizer in sri lanka created a food price spike and economic hero. the people are suffering through right now. the countries are on the verge of collapse. you've got to think about the unintended consequences my colleague mentioned. someone who died from heat exposure and i keep pointing this out and they did not like for me to point it out, but other medical journals have made it clear there 17 times or more people dying from -- pool related issues than heat. -- cole related issues than he. i grew up dirt poor. we grew most of our. i'm thankful that my grandpa had a tractor. i'm thankful that we had a freezer. and a refrigerator.
i am thankful that there were places we could go that utilized modern techniques to process some of the food we produce. i don't -- i do not understand why we want to go so headlong into adopting policies that are -- clearly going to have a negative act of lives. that is astounding to me. it is almost like we have people who think we need to enforce a form of population control. and that might include starvation. i'm not accusing anybody of that i am just saying what is happening in sri lanka is, i think, evidence of going too far too fast. mr. swisher, i appreciate the
work you are doing. i just wonder if in your efforts of rendering and the work you are doing if you have contacted the public school systems to get access to the food that is going in the trash cans every day. >> thank you. we have networks and trucks that go to restaurants and. but where we pick up meat scraps so the meat scraps from annie -- from any school or restaurant would be a place we would visit and recycle that material. >> i do not think they are throwing out the meat i think it is the other stuff and i yield back. >> next mr. lebanon you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. today is a tough day who want to
see climate action with what science demands. make note mistake, to those who demand action, we see you and hear you and we will not stop until the actions that we need are taken. to the topic of today's hearing, i'm glad that the -- we get to hear from ellie brown the san diego food system alliance. -- this alliance is an organization in our region fostering collaboration in our food system to build more sustainable healthy and fair food systems. san diego food vision -- developed -- collaboration with our community is a testament to that division. -- protect our environment and create additional economic opportunities in our county. those who do not know san diego
county is home to a robust food system. it generates over $35 billion in economic out the and accounts for 15% of jobs in the region but our food system -- faces challenges. it causes environmental stressors. let me start off with a basic but important russian or ms. brown. given all the challenges that farmer produce -- face in our area why is -- key to our success tomorrow >> thank. 35 dollars in economic output is significant. the majority of the food that is in our region is small farms and small fisheries. most of the food is x.
during the pandemic the entire supply chain shut down and of us have stepped up to his work our local producers. imagine if we can create a better suit -- more just food system or producers one that looks at the environment -- there's a significant opportunity here. keeping things localized can help us build more human relationships and address the pain that everybody is talking about in the need for transition -- we are looking at the economy from many different ways. so i love the local work because it allows us to have real relationships and understand the needs on the ground and the realities on the ground that these farmers, fishermen and businesses. >> how can investing in local food systems help unities become more resilient to the impact of
climate change like drought and water scarcity question mark lack -- scarcity? >> these communities are at the frontline of climate change we need to address the symptoms first. -- the inequities are available by government grant to try to float more resources into communities and towards the healthy economy. i speak to the food system because that is the one i am in. but at the same time we need to address the root. these issues were not created through the food system it is through the history of injustices. we need to redistribute power. i want to provide a quote as france's warlock gave. people do not go hungry from lack of food rather from a lack of our. power to access food and power
to access and to grow food. >> i was impressed by your local food economy lab and excited to hear about the usda grant received. can you expand on your vision for this and why capacity at the local level is important or strengthening regional? >> yes. the new program for the regional food system should -- we procreated -- cocreated -- this program and our region in terms of what they were looking for. the program is robust. it has care mentoring and customize your -- we work with an ecosystem of providers in the region. the tension is to support the viability of the businesses and treated as an experiment that we
are observing over time. setting ourselves accountable in terms of the goals we want to see and supporting models that are a different type of economic models that will help build community well. -- these businesses -- it is not a common thing here in the united dates we want to see how we can make businesses viable in our region. >> thank you. i yield back. >> you are recognized for five minutes mr. carter. >> thank you. i want to say right off, i appreciate the fact we are having a hearing about rule america. a big part of my district is full of agriculture and forestry. this is because just as i do not feel the united states gets the credit for bd reese in carbon emissions we've achieved over the years, i do not think our
farmers and or stores get the credit they deserve for what they have done with sustainable force serving -- our farmers who are producing more food and fiber and feed and renewable fuels without using more resources the united states farmers the world and we are trying to criticize them for carbon emissions. it baffles me. i want to read you a couple things here. agricultural productivity increased to 87% from 948 -- 1948 to 2017. -- the same amount of corn it would have had to in 1990. 4 million fewer are 27 sent you are for cotton.
-- 27% fewer for cotton. -- livestock. they continue to reduce their emissions. emissions for the reduction have declined 8% since 1990. 18% in pork. even the secretary of agriculture appointed by president biden said i do not think we have to reduce the amount of meat our livestock u.s.. a significant percentage is exported. is not a question of eating or producing more or less it is about making production more sustainable. that is the secretary of agriculture saying that. american farmers are part of the solution. they are not part of the problem.
i appreciate you guys being here and i want to start by saying one of your members is king at my district in atlanta and georgia and visited there often and is quite impressed with the work they are doing their but i was listening to your testimony on the magnitude of animal bite audits that are recycled every day across the usa reminds the of the critical role that renderers play in the sustainability of animal production systems by utilizing nearly all of the byproducts. -- from the production of meat. in addition to preventing waste they are providing sustainability -- and multiple consumer products we use every day. so can you talk about some inputs that renderers provide to the supply that would not exist without your industry? >> thank you.
we produce meals and fats and oils so one positive success story we have is we replace fish meal and aquatic rations. over time fish meal production has been flattened since the 80's it is not increased and aquacultural production has skyrocketed. -- we use those rations -- because of amino acids and things like that. on a global double as well. our fats and oils, in the early 1800s we produce animals out of tello. and the markets have changed over time and now we are more readable diesel and biofuel as a complement to the other fuel. >> earlier one of the other witnesses indicated that most of
our landfills were animal products. dear members debase send an bill landfills or are they recycling byproducts? >> we are recycling. we keep the raw material from going to land bills and we produce things like mills and fertilizers and fuel. >> that is the one thing that broader -- bothers me about this committee please indulge me. the whole cycle you cannot look at the one part of it you have to look at the whole cycle and recycling the byproducts as part of the process. i yield back. >> thank you madam chair and thanks for holding this hearing i look forward to it. my question goes to ms. gunderson. food waste is a large contributor as we know to greenhouse gas emissions. as you've said there are bills in congress to address labeling
and confusion can you speak to the labeling issue and its contribution to food waste and climate change eschenbach >> absolutely, first i would like to clarify that i did not date animal products are filling up land will but food scraps over all all types of food are the number one product in landfills today. but the question for labels, the used buy, cell bike, enjoyed by the many words you see to describe the date on food are actually quite confusing to consumers and consumers are misinterpreting those dates to mean that they are supposed to throw the food out. 86% of consumers are somewhat confused about the dates and they are throwing food away. there is no federal regulation for these dates and
manufacturers can put whatever they want on the auto act. the solution we see is to standardize the food labels to have two phrases one that is about polity and one that is about safety and to require only those two be used as a way to get definitions and be able to communicate to consumers and reduce confusion. >> there is a bill that's currently introduced in the congress to relate entered as asian. it's an industry of voluntary agreement and the industry is behind this change including companies like [inaudible] thank you for staying on the subject of labeling. what labeling on proteins like milks and cheeses -- how
important is it to combating climate change eschenbach >> my understanding of the alternative protein is quite limited but i understand that there are labeling issues that they would like to be able to call things like almond milk they would like to be able to call that milk. i think there is no single bullet but offering alternative products that are similar to animal products is one of the tools in the toolkit to reduce our overall consumption of meat as we look forward. it's important to note food demand is predicted to increase quite a bit by the una predicts we need 50% more food to feed our global population than we do today. so our talking about reducing
consumption it not reducing production but trying to freeze the footprint of food to what it is in today in order to feed a growing population. >> recently in grocery stores i've noticed food producers have begun to label there's foods as carbon neutral. do you believe creating a uniform climate related food labeling would address climate impacts of food reduction and incentivize consumers to choose more climate friendly options? >> i think were generally market-based conservation programs have potential to diversify opportunities for producers which is great and provide us a signal from the marketplace to his work durable
on the ground conservation -- like large-scale adoption of climate smart practices. there are certainly a wealth of different ways of approaching package labeling and doing it in a way that is consistent and transparent work and it also reflects the science and practices and outcomes in the yield. so that it is it sensible consumers in the marketplace those signals do have the potential to support large-scale production which is what we talked about today as being needed for recognizing the solutions. >> thank you. i yield back. >> representative graves you are recognized for five-minute. >> thank you madam chair. madam chair, i want to respond to comments that were made earlier.
comments were made that because of from asking saudi arabia to cut oil duction -- i read the same reports and that was in april 2020. i want to make a note that at the time they were actually in the negative range. they were in the negative range. so it will sit here and talk about oil prices let's do that. maybe i won't go yeah. can you hold these for me? so, look at what is happening with gas prices. this is during the biden administration. we were talking about prices my friend was talking about prices when they were negative literally oil futures were negative. so yes he did go to the cartel and ask them to cut reduction so we could continue to have energy
duction in the united states and here is why we have the lowest emission in the world for energy produced here. why would you want to kill that industry tomorrow this is what has happened during the administration it suggested that there's issues with the conversation it is fascinating. now, i do not have a crystal ball, but i'm not even very smart but this was january 27 of 2021. last year january of last year. i could recognize what was going to happen with energy prices and i said then as a result of the executive orders and other actions the administration has taken, higher price at the gas, -- lost share for hurricane protection -- protection. alabama, texas, mississippi and others higher delivery costs for
tuxpan delivered all across the united states. more dependence on foreign energy china and russia and other countries and the increase in global emissions as a result of getting energy from other countries and services i've got to tell you that's it better been in for did in college. so i do not think this step is really rocket science. in fact it is so much not rocket science you can make a cartoon off of what is happening right now and somebody did. we do not want to prove -- pollute the air -- this is completely baffling to me that that is what we have going on. the last thing is, is this right here, this is a letter from -- senator kip will -- and schumer
just read this one. the current right up in oil prices is effectively a tax on every americans families discretionary budget. except that the money goes to the opec cartel. rather than the u.s. treasury. i could not agree with the war. let's highlight this word tax because if you look -- go back and look at this one right here, that is a tax. the president of the united states said no one making less than $400,000 will get a tax. schumer, hernandez, somebody else. thanks. they said that his attacks. every american is paying yet it is pushing energy poverty. people have a choice if there going to pay their electricity
bill, fueled their car, or get re-freeze. i want to ask i believe you dr., when you carry out better farming practices as you noted, i assume that results in us across street greenhouse gases -- is that accurate? >> yes sir. the hope is by implementing sustainable actresses is -- a list of co-benefits goes on and it is proved for ab -- habitat potential for wildlife. -- i will yield back and submit questions for the record because i have a number of them and i want to note that the witness has restrictions -- >> we will
go to him for five minutes. >> thank you for -- i commend you for trying to have a serious conversation about how agriculture and our food supply can be part of the climate solution and how we build more resilient food supply chain. for those watching this hearing this is not another rerun of the i love royal show we see the rerun all the time around here we are trying to talk about food security resilience and the peace that i'm most interested in is food waste. for those of our witnesses who work in this field, i want to tell you i think your work is so important. i want to make sure you know it's appreciated. i think food waste could be something we find common cause. it seems like an obvious thing to tackle. it's a huge contributor to climate change.
a report by the epa found that greenhouse gas emissions of food , loss, and waste -- the annual water and energy waste used is enough to supply 50 million homes. so why not tackle this together russian mark and improve -- together? and improves food security. -- if we care about inflation, addressing food waste saves money -- families money. it is a win on many levels. i want to ask you for ideas how congress can tackle this issue. what our thoughts about how we in congress can invest upstream to try to reduce waste? >> thank you. i think it's a solution to the increase prices we are seeing today.
even studies have shown lower income households waste the same percentage of their food budgets. helping folks stretch their food budgets is important today. and that is where we are focusing on consumer food waste. it is an important place to focus such as a national consumer campaign that helps educate consumers and gives them the tools to stretch food budgets. another place to travel upstream is creating a national public-private partnership. there's a successful start to the public or ship on the west coast right now. we have 7 -- including walmart, kroger, -- they are participating and working to
identify opportunities. and taking that type of partnership nationally you can expand the potential of highlighting projects and share learnings. they are looking at specific sectors. -- even production all the way through retail. looking at the partnerships -- it would be a key step. another is looking at opportunities in smalls.
-- providing funding to explore policies in this area and find assistance and programming would be a great solution as well. >> thank you. in the time i have left but we respond to the suggestion earlier that by promoting healthier school lunches michelle obama contributed to food waste because one million kids stopped eating their school lunches. if michelle obama had endorsed twinkies, fox news and right-wing media would have declared that twinkies are you the and a million people would have stopped eating them because that's what fox news told them
to do. i have seen in my district and my state around the country that healthy food can be yummy food. i hope we can dispose of that and get back to the subject of healthy nutritious food and reducing food waste and have a more resilient food system. i yield back. >> next we go to ms. escobar you are recognized for five minutes. >> and q. thanks to our panelists who are here in person and virtually. i'm grateful to you for your work. food is a really critical component of tackling climate crisis. thank you for bringing us back to focus on practical solutions and ideas around. food. -- many americans do not recognize the decisions they
have can impact the climate emergency. our country waste between 40% of the food supply. this is not immoral but it's devastating to the environment. i do applaud communities and people across the country who are working to change that. in my own home district of el paso, texas we've seen a rise in urban farms such as fossil race farms topping tackle food and security in our community and educate the unity by showing individuals how to farm and garden effectively at a low cost. there are also organizations that provides meals to families in need by focusing on reducing food waste that goes into land those. congress has to do more. we have to support not just to local urban farmers and agricultural organizations and
ranchers who face risks related to the food supply chain but we also have to do everything possible to legislate around that and educate the public as well. miss gunderson, i have a couple questions for you and i have one question for you. can you please talk more about the importance of adopting existing technologies to reduce food waste and what congress must do to encourage food waste technology innovation? >> absolutely. there's an explosion of innovation right now happening around food waste reduction. some of it is incredibly successful. we are seeing things like using big data and learning to improve -- for retailers. using new types of imaging and technical vision to evaluate the quality of text.
using sensors to evaluate how much temperature exposure it is having and allowing companies to route problem -- products that have a shorter life. there's a ton of technology popping up and yet it is taking time to innovate and adopt it. incentives would help as well as early deployment and adoption of some of the technologies that are proven would be huge be -- hooch -- hugely impactful. next i think that's important so that we can ensure there's an urgency to that innovation and that we get it into the marketplace as quickly as possible. i have a question for ellie brown. ensuring families have affordable and healthy foods is
crucial in economically disadvantaged communities like macon. not having healthy options leads to environmental impacts that hit the most wearable. can you ask wayne the importance of improving the food environment -- and what policies are necessary to ensure food environments improve? >> thank you. the reality is, we need a food system that is -- fuels climate disease. most people that live in communities where they are struggling do have resources around accessing health as healthy food. ultimately reclaiming the type
of food that's available in the community like you mentioned is a movement for communities in terms of their own tolerance to reclaim their food system. and food sovereignty. so what is important ultimately is a more community driven food system and a more community governed system. in the short-term, we can do everything we have in our government toolkit to support these communities from economic incentives and assistance dollars that help match resources in the food economy. we've seen evt matching the farmers market and different programs that exist that have systems for that. and support the organizations and their access to grants that are available. they are often trying to navigate the system with -- it is hard to get resources that
help the communities. in the short-term, there's a lot of tools out there. the government could support more access to healthy food. in the long term we need a shift of power so communities can decide for themselves the kind of food they want. >> thank you. at the time i yield back. >> i agree with you, this is a hearing we intended to focus on practical solutions. we know with the escalated climate crisis and higher temperatures, the higher energy and full -- food cost, the food system can provide a lot of the solutions i want to thank our sins were helping us today. miss gunderson you been clear on a call to action. enqueue you even us practical solutions on food labeling and how we fund and mpower public-private partnerships. ms. brown i've been in rest with what you are doing in san diego
for many years. reimagining and reconfiguring the food system. as miss gunderson, that innovative technologies are exciting, but we need action right away. one of the solutions i think we need to add to the list and talk about is preventing the conversion of crop plants. i see it in florida as the population growth and other stressors try to expand into our critical areas. you want food and everything produced nearby so based gunderson, what is the most right now policy at the federal level to ensure we are more efficient on the crop that we have now and we do not continue to convert that to other uses? lack i think there are a few.
one is supporting the north american grasslands conservation act. there is already a great program called the sod saver -- that expanding this program could reduce negative impact of that out there. also, rethinking renewable foods is the other. and i would point you toward a report that has been written on this by the worldwide -- elect fund who are really experts on the list. >> you focus on this as well and i appreciate how you pointed out early that our farmers and producers need help with farmers in florida. not too long ago across all industries citrus, cattle,
dairy, the plant nurseries and specialty crops, they are hungry for help because their productivity is suffering under extreme temperatures and extreme rainfall. what do you point out to us as our most important policies we need to be focused on to help our farmers and conserve cropland? >> thank you for the question. i would like to come back to a few points that i think apply across different landscapes in the producer community you are talking about whether they are low crop or cattle producers or private timber stand. we already have an existing suite of federal conservation grams that producers know -- there are recommendations about how they can streamline those and make them more accessible. but also those programs are heavily oversubscribed. makes ample i gave earlier in a single year 1.1 billion dollars
in one program of interested but unfunded applications and those are producers coming in and they've already done the research and they've submitted it for competitive review process. when we think about how we can scale up the action of now and scale of sustainable agricultural forestry practices across the landscapes across the country, it is about helping producers where they are with what they need when it is technical assistance -- and practice implementation i would say recognizing the private marketplace said that his back to the opportunity that some of the market with conservation signals to rethink about how those can connect and tie in with increased revenue and shared of profit for producers. >> ms. brown, san diego the alliance there can be a model for other communities across the country. i'm worried there are
communities that do not have versus to implement that kind of local grassroots effort. what can we be doing to encourage that model and empower people at the local level across the country? >> you would be surprised. johns hopkins silicates a food policy network nationally. i know several years ago there was at least 150 organization in various different communities across the nation and the county level and state level organizing around the policy -- grassroots approach. you would be surprised. a lot of them are getting another round of initiatives. that really crosses political lines. food is a necessity raid we want to support our local farmers. we want to support our local businesses how do we do that together? there's a lot of route out there to really have to listen. >> thank you barry much. -- thank you very much has
joined me strict crenshaw. you are recognized for five minutes for questions. >> thank you. for holding this hearing. and listening to the testimonies that are real and pragmatic. -- on food waste and improving farming practices. there's a lot of bipartisan legislation there. but what we also here is -- more radical ideas -- on their most basic needs. energy and food. and reporting out some other countries that have taken these radical approaches. sri lanka band pesticides from other chemicals that provide crop protection because of their environmental impact. it devastating humanitarian crisis it's not been able to produce enough food to eat. sri lanka has a near perfect
score of 98. environmental groups in the netherlands enforcing limitation on carbon emissions in their country. that is down -- enforcing us. they started enforcing bans on agricultural options to meet that goal read the prime minister said the only way they can do it is to cut cattle by 30%. imagine what is going on in their country right now is there is an uprising. at a potential food shortage. the united date -- united states said they will not stop from the target industry. would suggest the epa will try to rule out -- the clean air act. and force emissions target -- i am in agreement and it is on the same track as the neverland and sri lanka. when it comes to crop protection in the epa when crops go unharvested it leaves to an increase of carbon and methane emissions and they have to
harvested because of damage caused by pest and disease. the epa is restricting natural gas for fertilizer. -- both of the ways we produce chlorine. an restricting use of commonly used are besides and pesticides. this question is for you, -- with that available do anticipate farmers anticipate the number of unharvested products? >> i apologize i'm not super familiar with various crop checks in laws -- protection laws or regulations but i do. >> you don't need to. it's a basic question. if you do not have the materials necessary to fend off tests, -- pest -- do you think there will be more products in the fields. ? >> i believe that crop protection is our role in
producing crops and therefore certainly saving crops from pest. it helps with the harvest. >> and the crop waste leave to higher carbon emissions. these products would be good and helpful in reducing carbon emissions overall would you agree with that russian mark i am not trying to trick you i promise you that is what it feels like. >> i believe a certain level of crop protection can lead to utilization of crops. >> thank you. on food crisis, we are talking about the increasing cost for americans. i want is to continue what we know how to do. we still know how to pursue environmental goals and promote -- we can protect people while producing enough food and energy for american.
i believe that an i.e. yield back. >> -- and i yield back. >> thank you for your testimony today on how we build a climate safe system. -- and build a more sustainable food supply chain. without objection i would like to enter in the record a july 5 ain't 2022 lever -- letter from -- favor of investments and policies supporting agricultural innovation is a climate solution that help farmers and ranchers be resilient in a changing world. and with outward -- objection, members would have ten-day to submit additional questions for our witnesses. i ask you guys to respond as promptly as you are able. thank you for joining our climate smart solutions from bark to form -- from farm to fork meeting today. the meeting is adjourned.
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