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iSEE Congress Webinar: "How Can We Reduce Waste from Agricultural and Food Systems?"

Event Type
Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)
Nov 3, 2021   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Register for Zoom webinar here
Tony Mancuso
Originating Calendar
iSEE Sustainability Calendar

True food circularity must include waste reduction on the agricultural and consumer sides. Join iSEE for this important discussion moderated by Carl Bernacchi, Research Plant Physiologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, and Adjunct Professor of Plant Biology.

The panelists are:
-- Brian Roe, Van Buren Professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Ohio State University;
-- Tom Theis, Professor of Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering and Director of The Institute for Environmental Science and Policy, University of Illinois Chicago.

With about 37% of the wasted food in the United States directly attributable to decisions made by consumers in their homes and another 29% occurring in retail and food-service settings, the systems that shape consumer waste are ripe for transformation. In this presentation, Roe will review the recommendations for reducing consumer waste of food offered by a recent National Academies study — which specifically considers a systems perspective — and the system-wide challenges involved in implementing several of the recommendations, including date-label harmonization and increased fees for landfill disposal of organics.

Theis will explore the opportunities within the context of a circular economy to integrate policies on production and consumption to reduce waste, conserve resources, and improve human health. For example, were consumers to acquire, prepare, and eat foods closer to recommended dietary guidelines, water requirements related to food consumption would decline by as much as 30%, and agriculturally-related release of nutrients by up to 40%. Findings also suggest that reducing food spending and consumption of environmentally intense proteins and grains could result in the highest conservation of cradle-to-farm-gate land and water resources. Reducing protein and dairy food spending and consumption could mitigate the most GHG emissions. 

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