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Consumer Food Waste In the United States

Anthony E. Gallo

Food Review/ National Food Review, 1980, vol. NFR 12, issue 1

Abstract: Large domestic food supplies, a declining share of family income spent for food, and relatively stable food prices in past years have lessened the importance of food waste as a priority issue. As a result, strongly supportable estimates of consumer food waste are not available. However, recent food price inflation and concerns about resource conservation have focused more attention on determining food loss. The emergence of new U.S. dietary guidelines, which recommend changes in consumer eating habits, also strengthens the need to know what is eaten - not just what is purchased. This report is a summary of what is known about consumer food waste in the United States. Empirical estimates from studies using four different research procedures are reviewed. The estimates are widely divergent, indicating that from 7 to 35 percent of all food purchased for use at home is wasted. Part of the wide range in the estimates is explained by the differences in definitions of waste, by the study methodology, and by the characteristics of the sample households.

Keywords: Consumer/Household; Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1980
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.281040

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