Food is both essential to life, providing vital nutrients and energy, and a source of pleasure and emotional sustenance. It has symbolic associations with love, comfort, stress reduction, security, rewards, cultural expression, creativity, and power. Food choices are influenced by a lifetime of individual and social experiences. Food and eating behaviors are often set in childhood and can be closely tied to family and cultural traditions and norms.
Despite its importance, however, people waste a significant amount of food, and the problem is growing. Hall and colleagues (2009) estimated that the amount of food wasted per capita in the United States had increased approximately 50 percent since 1974. Globally, one-third (1.3 billion tons) of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year (Gustavsson et al., 2011), at a cost of approximately $1 trillion (FAO, 2014). By one estimate, (based on measures of food waste in the municipal solid waste stream) across the U.S. food supply chain, from agriculture to consumption, approximately 40 to 60 million tons of food, both edible and inedible, is wasted (EPA, 2020; ReFED, 2016). An estimate based on measures of discarded food at all destinations is that once edible food leaves the farm, approximately 30 percent (66.5 million tons) is wasted each year (Buzby et al., 2014).
Many factors influence food waste in the United States, but because a significant portion of this waste occurs at the consumer level, interventions to alter consumer behavior will be vital if meaningful reductions are to be achieved. Yet despite broad agreement about the importance of reducing food waste throughout the supply chain (see, e.g., NASEM, 2019) and increasing attention to the problem, the majority of food waste reduction initiatives to date have not been focused at the consumer level. Reasons for this may include both a lack of evidence regarding effective strategies and insufficient attention to the complexity of causes and responses within a complex food supply system.
In this context, the Walmart Foundation and Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR)1 provided funding to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a study of strategies for reducing food waste at the consumer level. To carry out this study, the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies appointed a committee of experts to identify and recommend actionable strategies, including a path forward for implementation, for reducing food waste at the consumer level by applying knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences, including lessons learned from the social sciences in other comparable arenas (e.g., water and energy conservation, recycling). The committee also considered issues of equity and the potential for interventions to have different effects on different population groups. (Box 1-1 presents the committee’s statement of task.) The committee hopes that the strategies and recommendations detailed in this report will stimulate action and the coordination of effective strategies for reducing food waste at the consumer level, as well as further research to support future progress.
Characterizing the extent of the problem is challenging because there is substantial variation in how food waste is defined and measured, which makes comparisons and the tracking of progress difficult. Studies may differ in, for example, the portion of food waste considered “edible” versus “inedible;” the part of the food supply accounted for (e.g., postharvest only versus the full food supply); and methodologies used for measuring wasted food (e.g., direct versus indirect methods) (Spang et al., 2019).
1 At the committee’s first meeting, the Walmart Foundation and FFAR made a presentation about the study charge and their perspectives on the need for the study. They had no other discussions with the committee throughout the study process.
Furthermore, many estimates rely on secondary or outdated data (Xue et al., 2017), which increases the uncertainty of the estimates. Although recent efforts to develop standards and guidance have begun to address some of the problems with the quantification of food waste, many challenges remain (Hanson et al., 2016). (Appendix C provides a full description of the different methods used and various definitions of food waste and loss.) Nonetheless, despite the complexities of the available information, it is possible to sketch out an overview of the problems and their consequences.
First, as food moves through the food system from production to consumption, loss and waste occur at all stages, but the largest proportion occurs at consumption (Lipinski et al., 2013). It is not possible to be precise about the percentages because of the lack of alignment among the measures used, but several estimates demonstrate this point:
- The portion of food waste occurring in U.S. households and places where consumers interact with food away from home has been estimated at close to 80 percent of the total (edible and inedible) amount of food waste produced (ReFED, 2016).
- An estimated 30 percent (or 67 million tons) of edible food in the United States is wasted at the retail and consumer levels of the food system (Buzby et al., 2014; Gunders, 2017).
- U.S. consumers waste approximately 1 pound of food per person daily, with fruits and vegetables most likely to be wasted, followed
Looking at just the household level, some researchers have collected empirical data to estimate the portion of all wasted food that is edible by food type and discard destination (Hoover and Moreno, 2017; McDermott et al., 2019). Small studies have also quantified plate waste (the portion of food that is served but ultimately wasted) (e.g., Roe et al., 2018). Still, empirical food waste data come primarily from sources that have not been peer reviewed or were published outside of the United States, such as the Wasted Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in the United Kingdom (Gillick and Quested, 2018; Quested and Luzecka, 2014; Quested et al., 2013). Even less information is available about the proportion of consumer-level food waste that occurs in the home versus out-of-home settings, which would be useful for prioritizing resources.
Although it is clear that consumers waste a substantial proportion of the food they buy, food disposal is only one consideration when they make decisions about food. For example, a 2019 survey of U.S. consumers found that fewer than half think about food waste some of the time when they are at the grocery store, eating out, or at home (IFIC, 2019). The survey also revealed that such factors as price and preferences are more important than food waste considerations in making decisions about food.
The consequences of food waste are severe: the wasting of food depletes natural resources, degrades the environment, and constrains efforts to increase access to healthy diets for low-income populations. Life-cycle analyses have been used to quantify and disaggregate the environmental impacts of food production (Heller and Keoleian, 2015; Ivanova et al., 2016; Nemecek et al., 2016). One estimate is that the impacts of production and use of food from production to consumption are responsible for 48 percent and 70 percent of global household impacts on land and water resources, respectively (Ivanova et al., 2016).
When food goes uneaten, the environmental impacts stem from both waste of the resources used to grow the uneaten food and its disposal. By one recent estimate, food waste accounts for 15 percent of the total municipal solid waste generated in the United States (EPA, 2019), a figure that does not include all discarded food, such as that disposed of down the drain. The food waste in landfills is converted partly to methane, a
3 Estimate based on secondary data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data series.
greenhouse gas4 with 28 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. Thus, it is estimated that the average American contributes 315 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent annually (28 percent of all landfill greenhouse gas emissions) by discarding edible food and food packaging (Kling and Hough, 2010). Greenhouse gases are also emitted in the process of growing, processing, distributing, transporting, retailing, and cooking food that is eventually wasted. With all that in mind, a typical American’s annual food waste could account for the emission of more than 12,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is approximately the level of emissions from driving a car for 13,500 miles (Kling and Hough, 2010). Globally, the emission of 4.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent—8 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions—results from food that is wasted (FAO, 2015).
In terms of global land use, a total of 1.4 billion hectares, an area nearly 1.5 times that of the United States, is used to grow food that is ultimately wasted (FAO, 2019). This is significant because land use ultimately has effects on biodiversity and people’s livelihoods. Moreover, the application of nutrients used in growing food that is eventually discarded results in increased ammonia emissions, which further degrade air and soil quality, as well as wasted water and runoff-induced algal blooms in coastal waters. The amount of food produced but uneaten also implies substantial waste of water and energy, essential natural resources. For example, wasted food is responsible for more than 25 percent of total agricultural use of fresh water and about 4 percent of total U.S. oil consumption (Hall et al., 2009). Researchers have used modeling to estimate that halving food waste across all stages of the food supply chain could reduce the total environmental impact of the U.S. food system by 8 to 10 percent (Read et al., 2020).
Even as more than 30 percent of total food produced in the United States is wasted, 42 million Americans struggle with food insecurity (Coleman-Jensen et al., 2016). This disconnect is even more striking at the international level. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally, while nearly 900 million people are undernourished (FAO, 2019). As distressing as these figures are, it is important to note that much of the food that is wasted cannot realistically be recovered for human consumption, for reasons including food quality and decay, logistics, and the costs of recovery. Most food that gets wasted in the home is not likely to be appropriate for donation. Efforts to reduce consumer food waste have important benefits, but a broader suite
4 Estimation of greenhouse gas emissions in terms of “carbon dioxide equivalent” facilitates comparison of estimates of different greenhouse gases, for example, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.
of interventions is needed to make that food available and affordable to households experiencing food insecurity.
As this overview of the scope of the problem suggests, the study committee’s charge required careful thinking about research and conceptual approaches from multiple fields. Accordingly, the committee included experts in food waste, psychology and marketing, sociology, public health, nutrition, behavioral economics, food systems, urban planning, intervention design, and implementation science (see Appendix F for biographical sketches of the committee members).
The committee’s conclusions and recommendations are based primarily on a review of the relevant technical literature and two public sessions held with researchers and leaders in the field of food waste and other relevant fields (see Appendix A for the agendas for these public sessions).
The committee reviewed the existing body of research on food waste at the consumer level, including assessments of the levels of waste and associated impacts, current and past interventions to reduce this waste, and drivers of consumer behavior around wasted food. To review this literature, the committee developed a search strategy that was applied to multiple databases (Agricola, Embase, Medline, ProQuest Research Library, PubMed, and Scopus). The search included peer-reviewed articles published in English after 2004 (see Appendix B for the search syntax and results). A total of 882 publications were scanned for relevance to the committee’s task. In addition to the peer-reviewed literature, the committee reviewed grey literature on efforts of various groups to reduce food waste at the consumer level, including interventions, guidelines, and various other relevant topics.
The committee also sought insights in domains identified as similar to that of food waste for the purpose of studying consumer behavior and ways to influence it. Thus, the committee conducted additional literature searches targeting systematic reviews of research on strategies for promoting energy conservation, water conservation, waste prevention/management, recycling, diet change, and weight management.
Finally, the committee notes that the U.S. food supply chain and economy have experienced substantial disruptions during the COVID-19 global pandemic, which started in 2019 when the committee had completed most of its deliberations. There is not yet evidence regarding how consumer food waste patterns may have shifted during the pandemic, but the disruptions have undoubtedly affected consumers and their behaviors and had other
impacts on the food supply around the world.5 Increases in food insecurity and challenges for consumers in efficiently acquiring food are just two of the issues that have already become obvious. It is possible that the challenges of the pandemic could increase consumers’ receptivity to efforts to assist them in reducing waste. This report could not address these fast-moving changes, but uncertainties about how the food supply and future consumers’ behaviors will be shaped by the pandemic underscore the importance of attention to food waste.
A Systems Approach
The committee was asked to consider the full breadth of the complex, dynamic food system and in its analysis to draw on the food system overview presented in A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System (IOM and NRC, 2015) (see Box 1-1). A recommendation of that report is to move beyond a linear food supply chain model (from farm to table to landfill) to one that accounts for the interconnectivity and dynamic relationships among the various systems and structures within the food system (see Figure 1-1). Taking a systems approach makes it easier to understand and minimize the unintended negative consequences of interventions (tradeoffs), as well as to identify opportunities to maximize the benefits of changes, by illuminating the interactive relationships within the food system.
The 2015 report provides a framework intended to be applicable to many situations and to support the anlysis of proposed interventions aimed at influencing aspects of the food system. With this in mind, the committee attempted to apply the four principles laid out in the 2015 report to the food waste context while also recognizing the practical issues that must be addressed, such as uncertainties and gaps in data and information.
Principle 1: Recognize effects across the full food system. Consumer behavior, the focus of the current report, is shaped—or driven—by upstream influences. That is, the actions of farmers or food processors, for example, shape the context in which consumers make conscious and unconscious decisions and the options they have. Thus the committee investigated not only drivers of consumer behavior (see the discussion of terminology below) and interventions that directly affect individuals, but also other factors, such as policy, the actions of the food industry (i.e., food service venues and food retailers) and the media, and food marketing. We bounded our search by focusing on drivers that are proximal to the consumer and on interventions designed to prevent or reduce food surplus.
Principle 2. Consider all domains and dimensions of effects. The 2015 report notes that any intervention targeting the food domain may have consequences not only in that domain but also in other domains, such as health. The consequences in other domains may be positive or negative, intended or unintended, and they can be disproportionally larger than those intended for the intervention. The committee found limited research salient for exploring this issue with respect to food waste, but wherever possible, we considered potential consequences of interventions to reduce food waste in other areas, such as the possible effects of a technology used for this purpose on food safety.
Principle 3. Account for system dynamics and complexities. The food system is dynamic and heterogeneous, characterized by substantial variability in the goals and motivations of stakeholders and in the influences that drive consumer behavior. The committee acknowledged these variables and the tensions among them even when relevant empirical data or resources for obtaining such data were not available.
Principle 4. Choose appropriate methods of analysis and synthesis. Study of the topic of food waste is hampered by factors that include limited experience in this area among researchers, industry, and communities, as well as the lack of standard research methodology and terminology noted earlier. Accordingly, this report includes the committee’s recommendations for improved methods, including analytical and modeling approaches, that would provide a more complete picture of the drivers of food waste behaviors and inform the selection of interventions.
Although existing research did not support a true systems analysis of the problem of food waste, the committee applied the ideas behind such an analysis by taking into account
- the influence of other factors and actors in the food system beyond the consumer; and
- the synergy among various drivers of food waste.
We also explored the work of other authors in the field of systems thinking, such as Meadows (1999, 2008), who proposes a framework for systems change in which different types of interventions work in synergy to address a particular societal challenge. Others have categorized the types of prevention interventions to reduce food waste at the consumer level as “strong” or “weak” (Mourad, 2016): a strong intervention is one with long-term benefits that calls for changing the roots of the problem, whereas a weak intervention focuses on consumer behavior alone. The committee considered these concepts in its deliberations.
Integrating Work from the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Researchers in fields including food science, nutrition, public health, behavioral economics, marketing, sociology, social psychology, land use planning, geography, and implementation science have in one way or another contributed to understanding of why consumers do what they do and how consumer behaviors can be shaped through interventions. While each of these fields has made important contributions, they identify and investigate questions in different ways that reflect the conceptual underpinnings of their disciplines.
For example, some psychologists and behavioral economists consider food waste primarily as a context within which fundamental psychological effects may be explored or knowledge extended. Specialists in food marketing tend to look to data from either laboratory or field experiments that systematically alter one aspect of the food decision environment, with the goal of isolating novel effects on, say, quantities purchased or willingness to pay, rather than focusing on reducing waste as a key outcome. Behavioral economists use field studies to test how well findings from psychology and economics work in real-world settings. Scholars in urban geography and planning explore the role of space and the built environment in shaping food practices and the influence of such factors as urbanization, class, culture, and infrastructure. Public health nutrition researchers analyze food- and nutrition-related behaviors, perform program and policy evaluations, and study individual, social, and structural factors that shape behaviors and
opportunities. Agricultural and resource economists may draw on broad-scale survey data as well as laboratory and field experiments, often considering human-ecosystem feedback, the effects of informational interventions, and the interactions between business and individual behaviors as related in particular to the food system. And researchers in implementation science, a field that has blossomed in the last decade, focus on the specific elements needed to use the findings from small-scale studies successfully in designing population-scale interventions that can change behaviors. Researchers in several of these fields complement quantitative approaches with qualitative studies to better understand the underlying dynamics and processes that shape behaviors and their contexts.
Coordinating findings from across such disparate areas of study poses a challenge. Researchers in these fields are seeking to understand similar phenomena from their own perspectives and have developed terminology that is idiosyncratic to their domains. Their distinct usages of often similar terms reflect conceptual differences in their approaches. The discrepancies in usage can confuse interpretation and meaning.
A key concept in the study of food waste illustrates the problem: the influences on behavior that are called “drivers” in many contexts are also referred to as “determinants,” “determining factors,” “motivators,” or “predictors” in other fields, with definitions that overlap significantly but are not identical. These terms reflect varying stances on what is most important (e.g., the statistical meaning of prediction versus behavioral influences such as motivation), which can make it challenging to parse the meaning of similarities and differences in findings. At the same time, the diffusion of new categorizations and terminology can allow meaningful comparisons to emerge across fields.
The definition of food waste itself is another challenge. As noted earlier, researchers who study food waste define it in varying ways (e.g., sometimes including spoiled or otherwise inedible food and sometimes not), and also measure it in multiple ways, which complicates the comparison and integration of data and analysis. For the purposes of this report, “food waste” is defined as food that is either still edible or became spoiled before it could be consumed and is discarded by consumers in any discard location, including landfills or composting facilities. While recognizing that whether a food (or part of a food) is considered edible depends on cultural, religious, and even personal preferences, the committee focuses only on edible food in this report, given that it is the portion most conducive to waste prevention. Further, this report focuses on consumer-level waste; waste at other levels of
the food supply chain (e.g., at the retail level) is relevant to this report only to the extent that it influences waste at the consumer level. For example, the food wasted by the consumer in food service venues (e.g., restaurants, school cafeterias) is within the scope of this report. Conversely, the waste that occurs in the operation of food service venues as food is purchased and prepared, although equally important, is beyond the scope here, as is the food waste resulting from retail store operations. Other terms relevant to this report are defined as they arise in the discussion. Appendix G provides definitions of all terms with the potential to cause confusion.
The use of theories of change and conceptual frameworks helps identify bridges and address inconsistencies in the study of consumer behavior. Theories and frameworks can guide the design of behavioral interventions by identifying constructs and mechanisms that are important to the desired outcomes, which in turn supports the identification of variables and outcomes that will need to be measured in order to disaggregate effects (Thomson and Ravia, 2011). However, relatively few studies of interventions designed to influence behavior use theoretical frameworks to guide design (Sweet and Fortier, 2010; Thomson and Ravia, 2011; Varotto and Spagnolli, 2017). In some domains, such as diet- and physical activity-related behavior change, researchers have found only sparse and inconsistent evidence that theory-based interventions are effective or lead to better outcomes (Samdal et al., 2017). In addition, behavioral theories can be poor at explaining how the initiation and maintenance of behavior might differ (Samdal et al., 2017). Despite these challenges, researchers can beneficially apply theories and frameworks to standardize monitoring and evaluation practices and reporting of outcomes (Cox et al., 2010; Fjeldsoe et al., 2011). Some of this work has been the basis for the development of models designed to account more holistically for consumer behavior.
The committee’s review of the six behavioral domains identified as similar to that of food waste demonstrated that multiple theories have been dominant in studies of behavioral change, ranging from the psychological (the theory of planned behavior and modified versions [Ajzen, 1991]) and value-norm-belief theory (Stern and colleagues, 1999, 2000) to others based in sociology (e.g., versions of social practice theories [Schanes et al., 2018]). While each has some strengths, they all have shortcomings that make them difficult to apply across a broad literature; Box 1-2 provides a look at the context in which these theories emerged. The committee considered the applicability of several theoretical frameworks to consumer-level food waste behavior.
A framework that allows the identification and analysis of individual behavioral drivers but also acknowledges the importance of context and habit in driving behavior—the motivation-opportunity-ability (MOA) framework—has been used in food waste research in both academic and practitioner settings (e.g., Scott et al., 2015; van Geffen et al., 2016) and related fields (e.g., Addo et al., 2018; Geiger et al., 2019; MacInnis and Jaworski, 1989). The committee found that this model offered the most useful approach for analyzing the drivers of food waste behaviors and interventions to modify those behaviors in the context of our statement of task (Box 1-1). The key elements of this framework as they apply to food waste have been defined as follows (van Geffen et al., 2016):
- Motivation to prevent food waste—a person’s willingness to perform actions that reduce the likelihood or amount of food waste being generated. Relevant aspects of motivation are attitude, awareness, and social norms.
- Opportunity to prevent food waste—the availability and accessibility of materials and resources required to prevent food waste. Relevant aspects of opportunity are time and schedule, economic and other contextual factors, material and technologies, policy, and infrastructure.
- Ability to prevent food waste—a person’s proficiency at solving the problems encountered when performing actions that help prevent food waste. Relevant aspects of ability are knowledge and skills.
Like theories of practice, the MOA framework supports analysis of behavior that may be driven by habit rather than explicit intention. Indeed, the MOA framework also makes clear that when motivation, opportunity, or ability is low, consumers are likely to be influenced by factors related to routine, choice context, nonconscious factors, or social norms, and that addressing individual, group, and societal cues will increase the chance of sustained behavioral change. This insight is important in a systems approach to reducing food waste.
A few examples illustrate the interactions among motivation, opportunity, and ability. Even for individuals who wish to reduce food waste (have high motivation), refrigerators that are set at the wrong temperature (low opportunity) may make it very difficult to translate that motivation into the desired outcome. On the other hand, ignoring motivation can also undermine efforts in two ways. First, communities may provide ample opportunity and ability to reduce food waste, but if individuals are faced with conflicting motivations (i.e., conflicting drivers), such as the desire to take advantage of bulk buying opportunities, those interventions are not likely to succeed. Second, if executing behaviors to reduce food waste requires
high levels of motivation, the level of motivation in itself may be a driver of food waste. Where motivation is relatively low, opportunity and ability may need to be so strong that wasting food would require more effort than not doing so. One way to address this would be to build habit systems that make nonwasting automatic. For example, a community might develop a program whereby opting in to food waste reduction processes is automatic, but opting out would require more effort. In this case, consumers would need little motivation—they would simply need to lack a countervailing motivation.
The MOA framework allows for consideration of the roles of habits, norms, and other automatic behaviors. The committee used the MOA approach to anchor its analysis of the possible drivers of consumer behaviors and interventions designed to change those behaviors.
The remainder of this report is organized into five chapters. Chapter 2 describes the context for food waste at the consumer level. Chapter 3 discusses the drivers of consumer-level food waste, including both lessons learned from other disciplines and the research specific to food waste. It identifies implications for the design of interventions targeting food waste behaviors. Chapter 4 reviews the research on interventions to reduce food waste, again taking into account lessons from other disciplines. Chapter 5 presents the committee’s strategy for reducing food waste and its recommendations for implementing this strategy. Finally, Chapter 6 describes research needed to support the design of interventions and highlights the importance of implementation planning.
Addo, I.B., M.C. Thoms, and M. Parsons. 2018. Household water use and conservation behavior: A meta-analysis. Water Resources Research 54(10):8381-8400.
Ajzen, I. 1991. The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50(2):179-211.
Barr, S. 2006. Environmental action in the home: Investigating the ‘value-action’ gap. Geography 91(1):43-54.
Buzby, J.C., H.F. Wells, and J. Hyman. 2014. The estimated amount, value, and calories of postharvest food losses at the retail and consumer levels in the United States. Economic Research Information Bulletin 121.
Coleman-Jensen, A., M.P. Rabbitt, C.A. Gregory, and A. Singh. 2016. Household food security in the United States in 2015, ERR-215. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
Conrad, Z., M.T. Niles, D.A. Neher, E.D. Roy, N.E. Tichenor, and L. Jahns. 2018. Relationship between food waste, diet quality, and environmental sustainability. PLoS ONE 13(4):e0195405.
Cox, J., S. Giorgi, V. Sharp, K. Strange, D.C. Wilson, and N. Blakey. 2010. Household waste prevention—A review of evidence. Waste Management Research 28(3):193-219.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). 2019. Advancing sustainable materials management: 2017 fact sheet. Available: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-11/documents/2017_facts_and_figures_fact_sheet_final.pdf.
———. 2020. Food: Material-specific data. Available: https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figuresabout-materials-waste-and-recycling/food-material-specific-data.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 2014. Foodwastage footprint: Full cost-accounting. Final report. Available: http://www.fao.org/publications/card/en/c/5e7c4154-2b97-4ea5-83a7-be9604925a24.
———. 2015. Food wastage footprint & climate change. Available: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/7338e109-45e8-42da-92f3-ceb8d92002b0.
———. 2019. The state of food and agriculture 2019: Moving forward on food loss and waste reduction. Rome: FAO.
Fjeldsoe, B., M. Neuhaus, E. Winkler, and E. Eakin. 2011. Systematic review of maintenance of behavior change following physical activity and dietary interventions. Health Psychology 30(1):99-109.
Geiger, J.L., L. Steg, E. van der Werff, and A.B. Ünal. 2019. A meta-analysis of factors related to recycling. Journal of Environmental Psychology 64:78-97.
Gillick, S., and T.E. Quested. 2018. Household food waste: Restated data for 2007-2015. Wasted Resources Action Programme in the United Kingdom.
Graham-Rowe, E., C.J. Donna, and S. Paul. 2014. Identifying motivations and barriers to minimising household food waste. Resources, Conservation & Recycling 84:15-23.
Gunders, D. 2017. Wasted: How America is losing up to 40 percent of its food from farm to fork to landfill. New York: Natural Resources Defense Council.
Gustavsson, J., C. Cederberg, U. Sonesson, R. Van Otterdijk, and A. Meybeck. 2011. Global food losses and food waste. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Hall, K.D., J. Guo, M. Dore, and C.C. Chow. 2009. The progressive increase of food waste in America and its environmental impact. PLoS ONE 4(11):e7940.
Hanson, C., B. Lipinski, K. Robertson, D. Dias, I. Gavilan, P. Greverath, S. Ritter, J. Fonseca, R. VanOtterdijk, T. Timmermans, J. Lomax, A. Dawe, V. Berger, M. Reddy, D. Somogyi, B. Tran, B. Leach, and T.E. Quested. 2016. Food loss and waste accounting and reporting standard. Available: https://flwprotocol.org.
Hargreaves, T. 2011. Practice-ing behaviour change: Applying social practice theory to proenvironmental behaviour change. Journal of Consumer Culture 11(1):79-99.
Heller, M.C., and G.A. Keoleian. 2015. Greenhouse gas emission estimates of U.S. dietary choices and food loss. Journal of Industrial Ecology 19(3):391-401.
Hoover, D., and L.C. Moreno. 2017. Estimating quantities and types of food waste at the city level. Available: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/food-waste-city-level-report.pdf.
IFIC (International Food Information Council Foundation). 2019. A survey of consumer behaviors and perceptions of food waste. Available: https://foodinsight.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/IFIC-EPAL-Food-Waste-Deck-Final-9.16.19.pdf.
IOM (Institute of Medicine) and NRC (National Research Council). 2015. A framework for assessing effects of the food system. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Ivanova, D., K. Stadler, K. Steen-Olsen, R. Wood, G. Vita, A. Tukker, and E.G. Hertwich. 2016. Environmental impact assessment of household consumption. Journal of Industrial Ecology 20(3):526-536.
Kling, M., and I. Hough. 2010. The American carbon foodprint: Understanding your food’s impact on climate change. Brighter Planet. Available: https://kohalacenter.org/HISGN/pdf/carbofoodprint.pdf.
Koop, S.H.A., A.J. Van Dorssen, and S. Brouwer. 2019. Enhancing domestic water conservation behaviour: A review of empirical studies on influencing tactics. Journal of Environmental Management 247:867-876.
Lipinski, B., C. Hanson, J. Lomax, L. Kitinoja, R. Waite, and T. Searchinger. 2013. Reducing food loss and waste. Working paper, installment 2 of creating a sustainable food future. Available: https://wriorg.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/reducing_food_loss_and_waste.pdf.
MacInnis, D.J., and B.J. Jaworski. 1989. Information processing from advertisements: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Marketing 53(4):1-23.
Marteau, T.M. 2017. Towards environmentally sustainable human behaviour: Targeting nonconscious and conscious processes for effective and acceptable policies. Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematics, Physical and Engineering Sciences 375(2095).
Mattioni, D., A.M. Loconto, and G. Brunori. 2020. Healthy diets and the retail food environment: A sociological approach. Health & Place 61:102244.
McDermott, C., D. Elliott, A. Johnson, K. Hunter, and C. de Venecia. 2018. 2017 Oregon Wasted Food Study: Residential sector waste sort, diary, and survey study. Available: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/mm/Documents/ResKitchenDiarySurvey.pdf.
McDermott, C., L.C. Moreno, C. Mulder, D. Elliott, and R. Broderson. 2019. Oregon Wasted Food Study: Summary of findings. Available: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/mm/food/Pages/Wasted-Food-Study.aspx.
Meadows, D.H. 1999. Leverage points: Places to intervene in a system. Hartland, VT: Published by the Sustainability Institute.
Meadows, D.H. 2008. Thinking in systems: A primer. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.
Mourad, M. 2016. Recycling, recovering and preventing “food waste”: Competing solutions for food systems sustainability in the United States and France. Journal of Cleaner Production 126:461-477.
NASEM (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine). 2019. Reducing impacts of food loss and waste: Proceedings of a workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Nemecek, T., N. Jungbluth, L.M.I. Canals, and R. Schenck. 2016. Environmental impacts of food consumption and nutrition: Where are we and what is next? The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 21(5):607-620.
Quested, T.E., and P. Luzecka. 2014. Household food and drink waste: A people focus. Wasted Resources Action Programme in the United Kingdom. Available: https://www.wrap.org.uk/content/household-food-drink-waste-people-focus.
Quested, T.E., E. Marsh, D. Stunell, and A.D. Parry. 2013. Spaghetti soup: The complex world of food waste behaviours. Resources, Conservation, and Recycling 79:43-51.
Read, Q.D., S. Brown, A.D. Cuéllar, S.M. Finn, J.A. Gephart, L.T. Marston, E. Meyer, K.A. Weitz, and M.K. Muth. 2020. Assessing the environmental impacts of halving food loss and waste along the food supply chain. Science of The Total Environment 712:136255.
Reckwitz, A. 2002. Toward a theory of social practices: A development in culturalist theorizing. European Journal of Social Theory 5(2):243-263.
ReFED (Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data). 2016. A roadmap to reduce U.S. food waste by 20 percent. Available: https://www.refed.com/downloads/ReFED_Report_2016.pdf.
Roe, B.E., J.W. Apolzan, D. Qi, H.R. Allen, and C.K. Martin. 2018. Plate waste of adults in the United States measured in free-living conditions. PLoS ONE 13(2):e0191813.
Samdal, G.B., G.E. Eide, T. Barth, G. Williams, and E. Meland. 2017. Effective behaviour change techniques for physical activity and healthy eating in overweight and obese adults; systematic review and meta-regression analyses. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 14(1):42.
Schanes, K., K. Dobernig, and B. Gözet. 2018. Food waste matters—A systematic review of household food waste practices and their policy implications. Journal of Cleaner Production 182:978-991.
Scott, A., C. Oates, and W. Young. 2015. A conceptual framework of the adoption and practice of environmental actions in households. Sustainability (Switzerland) 7(5):5793-5818.
Shove, E., M. Pantzar, and M. Watson. 2012. The dynamics of social practice: Everyday life and how it changes. London, UK: Sage.
Soma, T. 2019. Space to waste: The influence of income and retail choice on household food consumption and food waste in Indonesia. International Planning Studies. Available: https://doi.org/10.1080/13563475.2019.1626222.
Southerton, D., and L. Yates. 2015. Exploring food waste through the lens of social practice theories: Some reflections on eating as a compound practice. In Waste management and sustainable consumption, edited by K. Ekstrom. New York, NY: Routledge. Pp. 133-159.
Spang, E.S., L.C. Moreno, S.A. Pace, Y. Achmon, I. Donis-Gonzalez, W.A. Gosliner, M.P. Jablonski-Sheffield, M.A. Momin, T.E. Quested, K.S. Winans, and T.P. Tomich. 2019. Food loss and waste: Measurement, drivers, and solutions. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 44(1):117-156.
Stancu, V., P. Haugaard, and L. Lahteenmaki. 2016. Determinants of consumer food waste behaviour: Two routes to food waste. Appetite 96:7-17.
Stefan, V., A.A. Tudoran, E. van Herpen, and L. Lahteenmaki. 2013. Avoiding food waste by Romanian consumers: The importance of planning and shopping routines. Food Quality and Preference 28(1):375-381.
Stern, P. 2000. Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behaviour. Journal of Social Issues 56(3):407-424.
Stern, P.C., T. Dietz, T. Abel, G.A. Guagnano, and L. Kalof. 1999. A value-belief-norm theory of support for social movements: The case of environmentalism. Human Ecology Review: 6(2)81-97.
Sweet, S.N., and M.S. Fortier. 2010. Improving physical activity and dietary behaviours with single or multiple health behaviour interventions? A synthesis of meta-analyses and reviews. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 7(4):1720-1743.
Thomson, C.A., and J. Ravia. 2011. A systematic review of behavioral interventions to promote intake of fruit and vegetables. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 111(10):1523-1535.
Varotto, A., and A. Spagnolli. 2017. Psychological strategies to promote household recycling. A systematic review with meta-analysis of validated field interventions. Journal of Environmental Psychology 51:168-188.
van der Werf, P., J.A. Seabrook, and J.A. Gilliland. “Reduce food waste, save money”: Testing a novel intervention to reduce household food waste. Environment and Behavior 0(0):0013916519875180.
Van Geffen, L.E.J., E. van Herpen, and J.C.M. van Trijp. 2016. Causes & determinants of consumers food waste. Refresh deliverable 1.1. Available: https://eu-refresh.org/causes-determinants-consumers-food-waste.
Visschers, V.H.M., N. Wickli, and M. Siegrist. 2016. Sorting out food waste behaviour: A survey on the motivators and barriers of self-reported amounts of food waste in households. Journal of Environmental Psychology 45:66-78.
Warde, A. 2005. Consumption and theories of practice. Journal of Consumer Culture 5(2):131-153.
Xue, L., G. Liu, J. Parfitt, X. Liu, E. Van Herpen, A. Stenmarck, C. O’Connor, K. Ostergren, and S. Cheng. 2017. Missing food, missing data? A critical review of global food losses and food waste data. Environmental Science and Technology 51(12):6618-6633.