Food Waste and Food Retail Density
22 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 1, 2017
This paper examines the relationship between food retail density and municipal solid waste. We test for correlations between the volume of solid waste and the number of food-at-home retailers (e.g., grocery stores) and food-away-from-home retailers (e.g., restaurants) at the county level in the state of Mississippi over 2007-2012. Since food scraps comprise the largest share of post-recycling municipal solid waste in the United States, we control for the overall level of economic activity to account for other sources of solid waste, as well as demographic factors, county and time effects. We find increases in food-at-home retailer density is negatively correlated with solid waste volume. Conversely, we find increases in the number of food-away-from-home retailers leads to more waste. While we do not explicitly investigate the mechanisms, we discuss possible avenues such as increased food access in the case of food at home, and increased portion sizes and substitutability in the case of food away from home.
Keywords: Food Waste, Household Production, Food Access
JEL Classification: D12, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation