Approximately 30 percent of the edible food produced in the United States is wasted and a significant portion of this waste occurs at the consumer level. Despite food's essential role as a source of nutrients and energy and its emotional and cultural importance, U.S. consumers waste an estimated average of 1 pound of food per person per day at home and in places where they buy and consume food away from home. Many factors contribute to this waste—consumers behaviors are shaped not only by individual and interpersonal factors but also by influences within the food system, such as policies, food marketing and the media. Some food waste is unavoidable, and there is substantial variation in how food waste and its impacts are defined and measured. But there is no doubt that the consequences of food waste are severe: the wasting of food is costly to consumers, depletes natural resources, and degrades the environment. In addition, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has severely strained the U.S. economy and sharply increased food insecurity, it is predicted that food waste will worsen in the short term because of both supply chain disruptions and the closures of food businesses that affect the way people eat and the types of food they can afford.
A National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste at the Consumer Level identifies strategies for changing consumer behavior, considering interactions and feedbacks within the food system. It explores the reasons food is wasted in the United States, including the characteristics of the complex systems through which food is produced, marketed, and sold, as well as the many other interconnected influences on consumers' conscious and unconscious choices about purchasing, preparing, consuming, storing, and discarding food. This report presents a strategy for addressing the challenge of reducing food waste at the consumer level from a holistic, systems perspective.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste at the Consumer Level. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25876.
|2 Understanding Food Waste, Consumers, and the U.S. Food Environment||37-62|
|3 Drivers of Food Waste at the Consumer Level and Implications for Intervention Design||63-96|
|4 Interventions to Reduce Food Waste at the Consumer Level||97-126|
|5 Strategy for Reducing Food Waste at the Consumer Level||127-154|
|6 A Research Agenda for Improving Interventions to Reduce Food Waste and Their Implementation||155-168|
|Appendix A: Public Session Agendas||169-172|
|Appendix B: Literature Search Approach||173-180|
|Appendix C: Additional Information on Food Waste||181-194|
|Appendix D: Interventions to Reduce Food Waste at the Consumer Level: Examples from the Literature||195-258|
|Appendix E: Research on Behavioral Change from Other Domains||259-288|
|Appendix F: Committee Member Biographical Sketches||289-294|
|Appendix G: Glossary||295-302|
The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.
The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:
Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:
Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.
To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, pleaseclick here to view more information.