Food Waste and Food Retail Density

22 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2017

See all articles by Craig E. Landry

Craig E. Landry

University of Georgia - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

Travis Smith

University of Georgia

Dylan Turner

University of Georgia - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

Date Written: October 1, 2017

Abstract

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

Landry, Craig and Smith, Travis and Turner, Dylan, Food Waste and Food Retail Density (October 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3048544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3048544

Craig Landry (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-7509
United States

Travis Smith

University of Georgia ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-7509
United States

Dylan Turner

University of Georgia - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-7509
United States

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