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What can Households do Everyday to Reduce Food Waste?

New AAEA member research released in AJAE

Trying a new recipe can lead to the purchase of unfamiliar ingredients that may eventually end up in the trash after one use. A simple adjustment to the plan…meal prepping! Meal prepping frequently encourages grocery shoppers to use ingredients already in their inventory and therefore could be the answer to reduce household food waste.

In the new article “Household Food Waste and Inefficiencies in Food Production” in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Travis Smith and Craig Landry from the University of Georgia explore why some households waste more food than others.

Smith says, “Household food waste decreases with age, education, household size, more frequent food shopping and longer distances traveled to the household's primary grocery store. These results are driven by a relatively less efficient majority of the population. A smaller, more efficient group of households waste food at about half the rate of the majority, and we suspect this is correlated with unobservable characteristics such as culinary skill and food planning activities.”

Landry adds, “What’s particularly interesting about the empirical analysis is we do not directly measure food waste, but rather utilize information on food input usage and food consumption to study household meal production efficiency and waste.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190