Examining Food Loss and Food Waste in the United States
Kathryn A. Boys and Bradley J. Rickard
This collection of articles examines a range of contemporary food waste and food loss issues in farm, institutional foodservice, retail, and household settings. Taken together, this theme offers intriguing insights on various private and public efforts in the United States to better characterize, quantify, and reduce food waste and loss.
Rebecca D. Dunning, Lisa K. Johnson, and Kathryn A. Boys
Unharvested produce may represent market inefficiencies and forgone farmer income. This article estimates costs and returns for select southeastern vegetable crops based on field estimates from North Carolina. Findings indicate that additional harvests are warranted in some cases and, when aggregated across the state, represent significant unrealized farm income.
Oral Capps Jr., Ariun Ishdorj, Peter S. Murano, Lindsey Field, Ashley Hutto, and Maureen Storey
We collected data on plate waste for all vegetables and by subgroup as well as the cost of waste from selected Texas elementary schools from April 2012 to January 2013. Plate waste for all vegetables exceeded 50%. The average waste cost per serving by vegetable subgroup varied from $0.03 to $0.22. Actual dollars lost averaged $9.37 to $20.06 per day per school.
Laura Andreea Bolos, Carl Johan Lagerkvist, and Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr.
Consumer food choices are affected among others by cultural habits and societal realities and play an important role in the amount of food wasted. This article focuses on investigating opportunities to shift retail practices in order to influence consumers at the point of purchase, specifally for fresh produce with cosmetic imperfections. Cognitive and behavioral nudges are suggested.
Kara Grant, R. Karina Gallardo, and Jill J. McCluskey
We estimate consumers’ willingness to pay for reduced food waste by comparing choices between bundles of raw ingredients and ready-to-eat meals. Attributes included prices, food-waste percentages, and expiration dates associated with each option. Findings suggest that consumers are willing to pay premiums for reduced food waste and increased shelf life.
Norbert L. W. Wilson, Ruiqing Miao, and Carter S. Weis
Consumers find food date labels confusing. Industry groups and policy makers intend to resolve the confusion by creating a single label for safety and another for quality. In a survey of consumers concerning anticipated consumption given various date labels, we find differential responses across products, leading us to conclude that new labels may not necessarily reduce waste.
Travis Minor, Claudia Hitaj, Fred Kuchler, Sharon Raszap Skorbiansky, Brian Roe, and Suzanne Thornsbury
This article summarizes discussions, insights, and lessons learned from a USDA workshop on food loss in the produce industry focusing on understanding contemporary issues surrounding food loss as they relate to the early (farm-to-retail) supply chain. Identification of the economic and financial decisions causing the issue in the first place is needed.