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Project Information

Project Information

A Systems Approach to Reducing Consumer Food Waste

Project Scope:

An ad hoc committee will examine food waste in the United States at the individual consumer level at home and away from home.  The committee will apply knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences to identify strategies for behavior change with consideration to interactions and feedbacks within the broader complex, dynamic food system. Drawing upon the food system overview described in A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System, the committee will address the following:

• Review the existing data, information and research on consumer food waste, including assessments of effectiveness for past and current and reduction efforts.

• Make actionable recommendations for food waste reduction strategies; and

• Identify implementation strategies to reduce wasted food at the consumer level from a holistic, systems perspective

The committee will issue a report with conclusions and recommendations at the end of the study.



Status: Current


Project Duration (months): 18 month(s)

RSO: Warden, Toby M


Behavioral and Social Sciences
Food and Nutrition

Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 06/10/2019

Barbara O. Schneeman - (Chair)
Barbara O. Schneeman, Ph.D., is professor emerita of the University of California, Davis. From 2004 to 2013 she was the director of the Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In that position, she oversaw the development of policy and regulations for dietary supplements, labeling, food standards, infant formula, and medical foods and served as U.S. delegate to two Codex committees (Food Labeling and Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses). From 1976-2004, she was a member of the nutrition and food science faculty at UC Davis where she served in several administrative roles, including chair of the Department of Nutrition, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and associate vice provost for University Outreach. She has been a visiting scientist at UC San Francisco, and assistant administrator for Nutrition in the Agricultural Research Service of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Professional activities include higher education coordinator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, participation in Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), NASEM committees, USDA, Food and Agricultural Organization, World Health Organization, the American Society for Nutrition, and the Institute of Food Technologists. She has been associate editor for the Journal of Nutrition and on several editorial boards including Nutrition Reviews, Journal of Nutrition, and Journal of Food Science. Her professional honors include National Associate of NASEM, fellow of the American Society of Nutrition, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Carl Fellers award from the Institute of Food Technology, the FDA commissioner’s special citation and the Harvey W. Wiley Medal, the FDA merit award, the Samuel Cate Prescott award for research, future leader award, and several honorary lectureships. She is recognized for her work on dietary fiber, gastro-intestinal function, development and use of food-based dietary guidelines, and policy development in food and nutrition. She received her B.S. degree in food science from UC Davis, Ph.D. in nutrition from UC Berkeley, and postdoctoral training in gastro-intestinal physiology at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California.
Cait Lamberton
Cait Lamberton, Ph.D., is professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Her research focuses on consumer behavior, with particular focus in topics related to self-control, the reduction of waste in retail and policy settings, scarcity, and online consumer experience. In addition to participating as an affiliated researcher in the first year of the White House’s social and behavioral science team and currently a team scientist at the University of Pennsylvania’s behavior change for good initiative, Dr. Lamberton has been retained as a consultant by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor as well as by major food manufacturers and financial services firms. She has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing and Journal of Consumer Psychology, as well as on the editorial review board of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Psychology, and has been identified as one of the 25 most productive marketing scholars in the world by the American Marketing Association. For her research, Dr. Lamberton was named a Marketing Science Institute young scholar, received the Association for Consumer Research’s early career contribution award, the American Marketing Association’s Erin Anderson award and the Journal of Marketing’s Hunt/Maynard award and the Lazaridis prize for her work on digital and social media. Dr. Lamberton holds a B.A. in English literature from Wheaton College and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in business administration and marketing from the University of South Carolina.
Laura C. Moreno
Laura C. Moreno, B.S., is a Ph.D. candidate in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to graduate school, Ms. Moreno worked as an environmental scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency focusing on reducing organic waste materials, including food waste, from reaching landfills. Her research centers around food wasted in households in the United States with a focus on measurement and behavior. Using her interdisciplinary background in environmental science, human factors, urban planning, sociology, and nutrition, she looks at how food becomes “waste” within the broader contexts of the food system, health, and everyday life. With a combination of direct measurement, statistical modeling, and open-ended interviews, she focuses on identifying determinants of wasted food in households that can be used for evidence-based prevention interventions. During her Ph.D., Ms. Moreno worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council, leading the first-of-its-kind household level measurement in the United States, based on data collected in Denver, Nashville, and New York. She also worked with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on their wasted food study of urban and rural Oregon households. Ms. Moreno has been recognized for her work as a University of California Nutrition Policy Institute fellow, National Science Foundation graduate research fellow, Berkeley Food Institute community engagement fellow, and as one of the University of California global food initiative’s 30 under 30. She is also a member of the United Nations expert group on measuring progress towards sustainable development goal 12.3.1.b, which aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. Ms. Moreno will receive her Ph.D. in energy and resources in August 2019. She earned a B.S. in conservation and resources studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Roni Neff
Roni Neff, Ph.D., is assistant professor in the Departments of Environmental Health & Engineering and Health Policy & Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also directs the food system sustainability and public health program at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, an academic center focused on food systems and public health. Her research, policy and practice efforts focus on wasted food, urban food system resilience, and sustainable diets. Her team has an active portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects addressing waste of food, including focus on consumers, policy and interventions, quantification, seafood waste, and food distribution and donation. She is also developing a 2019 conference to identify research needs related to urban waste of food, with support from the National Science Foundation. She is on the board of the Agriculture, Food & Human Values Society and previously led the American Public Health Association’s Food & Environment Working Group. Dr. Neff is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food Forum. She received her A.B. from Brown University, M.S. from the Harvard School of Public Health, and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Richard E. Nisbett
Richard E. Nisbett, Ph.D., (NAS), is the Theodore M. Newcomb distinguished university professor of psychology emeritus and research professor emeritus at Michigan's Institute for Social Research. He is former director of the Cognitive Science Program at the University of Michigan and former co-director of the University's Culture and Cognition Program. He is a recipient of the distinguished scientific contribution award of the American Psychological Association, the William James fellow award of the American Psychological Society, and the distinguished senior scientist award of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His book The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why won the William James Award from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Nisbett's research interests focus on reasoning and basic cognitive processes, especially induction, statistical reasoning, causal attribution, cost-benefit analysis and logical vs. dialectical approaches to problem-solving. He has studied the degree to which cognitive processes can be trained and has demonstrated that there are marked differences in East Asian and Western reasoning styles. His book Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count showed that, contrary to the general opinion that intelligence is largely genetically determined, the environment has massive effects on intellectual skills. His book Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking showed how 100 different scientific and philosophical concepts are enormously useful for business, professional and personal problems. His book Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South showed that, for members of some cultures, an insult is an act that must be responded to with violence, and this fact lies behind a host of differences in attitudes and behavior between the South and North of the United States. He is on the editorial board of the journals Cognition, Psychological Review, Personality and Social Psychological Review and Evolution and Human Behavior. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Columbia University.
Jennifer J. Otten
Jennifer J. Otten, Ph.D., R.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and core faculty in the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health and co-director of UW’s Livable City Year. Her research focus is at the intersection of food systems, population health, and nutrition. She is engaged in research on the impacts of policies and the policy process on diet-related health behaviors and health outcomes; food systems, including school food waste as a community food security opportunity and farm direct marketing; and, on understanding and improving the ways in which research gets to the public policy table. Between 1998-2006, Dr. Otten served in various capacities for the Institute of Medicine (now the Health and Medicine Division) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC, including as a study director and as the organization's first communications director. During this time, Dr. Otten managed and staffed the inaugural years of the Kellogg Health of the Public Fund and served as study director and co-editor for the report titled Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Dr. Otten received her B.S. in nutritional sciences from Texas A&M University, her M.S. in nutrition communications from Tufts University, and her Ph.D. in animal, nutrition, and food sciences from the University of Vermont.
Brian E. Roe
Brian E. Roe, Ph.D., is the Van Buren professor and associate chair of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at the Ohio State University. Dr. Roe has worked broadly in the areas of agricultural and environmental economics focusing on issues including food waste, agricultural marketing, information policy, behavioral economics and product quality. His recent research includes a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded project focused on local foods and school lunch programs, a USDA funded exploration of the role of nudges in reducing household food waste, and an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded multidisciplinary team seeking to understand human-ecosystem feedbacks in the Western Lake Erie basin, including understanding how farms and agribusinesses respond to voluntary environmental programs. Dr. Roe recently served as an editor for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the flagship journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and currently serves as the faculty leader of his department’s undergraduate program. He also helped form and currently leads the Ohio State food waste collaborative, a collection of researchers, practitioners, and students working together to promote the reduction and redirection of food waste as an integral part of a healthy and sustainable food system. He served as a member of the planning committee for the 2018 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine workshop on Reducing Food Loss and Waste. Dr. Roe has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland-College Park.
Christopher M. Shea
Christopher M. Shea, Ph.D., is associate professor of health policy and management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, and faculty lead for the North Carolina Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute’s (NC TraCS) implementation science unit at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His training is in the fields of organizational behavior, implementation science, and health informatics. His research has employed both quantitative and qualitative methods to focus on adoption and implementation of innovations by individuals and organizations, particularly innovations supported by information technology. Two implementation strategies that his work has focused on are assessing readiness for change and employing champions of change. He led development of a survey measure of “organizational readiness for change,” which has been categorized as “highly accessed” by the journal Implementation Science. He also has collaborated with colleagues to develop guidance for applying implementation frameworks and strategies. Finally, he led development of a framework of competencies to assess a researcher’s readiness for engaging stakeholders in their research. He earned a B.B.A. in finance and English from James Madison University, an M.A. in English from West Virginia University, and an M.P.A. and Ph.D. in public administration from North Carolina State University.
Tammara Soma
Tammara Soma, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University (SFU) where she conducts research on issues pertaining to food system planning, food waste, community-based research, waste management and the circular economy. Dr. Soma is the research director and co-founder of the Food Systems Lab, the first social innovation lab to tackle food waste in Canada. Her dissertation investigated the factors that influence urban household food consumption and food wasting practices in Indonesia, and the ways in which food systems consideration can improve urban planning decision-making as it relates to food waste management. She is a 2014 Pierre Elliott Trudeau doctoral scholar, a Joseph Armand Bombardier Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada graduate scholarship doctoral fellow, and an International Development Research Centre doctoral award recipient. Her leadership work on food waste has been featured recently on the national magazine Chatelaine and the national newspaper The Globe and Mail. Dr Soma recently co-led a tri-country team (U.S, Mexico and Canada) on a commission for environmental cooperation project to develop a toolkit for youth engagement in food loss and food waste reduction. She holds a Ph.D. in planning from the University of Toronto.
Gail Tavill
Gail Tavill, M.S., is an independent food industry executive experienced in product development and food systems research and development (R&D), packaging, nutrition, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Her most recent role was vice-president of corporate social responsibility and sustainability at Conagra Brands where she also led an R&D team that included process engineering and nutrition. Her special interests and industry influence include food waste reduction, packaging systems sustainability, supply chain traceability and transparency and sustainable diets. Ms. Tavill co-chaired the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) on behalf of the Grocery Manufacturers Association members for several years, contributing to the publication of the first FRWA best practices guide and many public speaking events. She served 6 years on the board of directors of Forgotten Harvest in Detroit, the nation's largest food rescue non-profit, promoting innovation in food donation and earning an Edison award for her efforts. Ms. Tavill also co-founded, served 2 years as president and 9 years on the board of directors of AMERIPEN, an industry trade association that advocates for science based policies related to packaging and the environment. Ms. Tavill earned a B.S. in packaging from Michigan State University, where she was inducted into the Packaging Alumni Hall of Fame in 2017, and earned a distinguished alumni award in 2019 from the Metro Chicago Alumni Association. She also earned an M.S. in environmental management from the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology.



Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  

Description :   

In the public sessions, the committee will hear the study's sponsors perspectives and from various experts about consumer behavior on food waste.

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Tina M. Latimer
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-3218

Supporting File(s)
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:



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