The food manufacturing and processing industry has changed since I began my career 35 years ago, but the persistent problem of food waste has remained a constant challenge. The statistics are quite staggering. According to the USDA, an estimated 12.7 billion pounds of meat, poultry and fish are thrown out by consumers each year. Even before food can reach consumers, an estimated 2.7 billion pounds of meat, poultry and fish — valued at $8.8 billion, or about 5 percent of all such inventory — are thrown out by retailers each year. Food waste is an intimidating challenge and one that processors, retailers, and consumers all play a part in tackling.