WASHINGTON (August 15, 2019) – In the United States, up to 40 percent of food is thrown away. To address this food waste challenge, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $336,000 grant to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (National Academies) to develop in-depth strategies to reduce consumer food waste. FFAR’s grant to the National Academies was matched by a contribution from the Walmart Foundation for a total award of $673,000.
Food waste is the largest component in US landfills and that food waste produces damaging greenhouse gasses. Furthermore, 85 percent of wasted food is discarded by consumer-facing businesses and homes, suggesting that consumer behavior is exacerbating food waste.
The National Academies is addressing food waste by convening an expert panel to study American food waste and make systems-level recommendations to shrink the consumer component. Comprised of experts in psychology, sociology, public health, behavioral study design, intervention design and implementation science, this ad-hoc committee is producing actionable recommendations to curb food waste. The resulting report of findings and recommendations to combat food waste will be made freely available and distributed to key stakeholders across the public and private sectors.
“America’s farmers and food industry produce a bounty of food to feed our nation. Unfortunately, too much of it ends up in landfills,” said FFAR Executive Director Sally Rockey. “Solutions that work across the entire food system to change consumer behavior, like those examined by the committee, can go a long way toward ending food insecurity.”
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization established by bipartisan congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation. Follow FFAR at Facebook and Twitter at @FoundationFAR and @RockTalking.