On the Measurement of Food Waste

11 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020

See all articles by Marc F. Bellemare

Marc F. Bellemare

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Applied Economics

Metin Çakir

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hikaru Hanawa Peterson

Kansas State University

Lindsey Novak

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

Jeta Rudi

California Polytechnic State University

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one‐quarter to one‐third of all the food produced worldwide is wasted. We develop a simple framework to systematically think about food waste based on the life cycle of a typical food item. Based on our framework, we identify problems with extant measures of food waste and propose a more consistent and practical approach. In so doing, we first show that the widely cited, extant measures of the quantity and value of food waste are inconsistent with one another and overstate the problem of food waste. By misdirecting and misallocating some of the resources that are currently put into food waste reduction efforts, this overstatement of the problem could have severe consequences for public policy. Our framework then allows documenting the points of intervention for policies aimed at reducing the extent of food waste in the life cycle of food and the identification of interdependencies between potential policy levers.

Keywords: Food waste

Suggested Citation

Bellemare, Marc F. and Çakir, Metin and Peterson, Hikaru Hanawa and Novak, Lindsey and Rudi, Jeta, On the Measurement of Food Waste (October 2017). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 99, Issue 5, pp. 1148-1158, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3577886 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajae/aax034

Marc F. Bellemare (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

MN
United States

Metin Çakir

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Hikaru Hanawa Peterson

Kansas State University

Lindsey Novak

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Jeta Rudi

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
United States

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