Estimating a Local Food Waste Baseline

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8 Scopus citations


This article estimates the amounts of food that is discarded, diverted, and landfilled in Minnesota by comparing and applying approaches and statistics from selected national, regional, and local studies. Our preferred estimates suggest 2.1 million tons of food is discarded in Minnesota, of which 60% is diverted through recovery and recycling efforts. The remaining 834 thousand tons are landfilled. This landfilled amount, considered as “food waste,” is smaller than the 1.3 million tons calculated using the ReFED (2016) methods, but its estimated distribution across the food supply chain is similar. Residential losses account for the largest proportion of food waste landfilled (43%). The processing and manufacturing stage discards the largest proportion of food (36%), but generates the smallest amount landfilled because of a high diversion factor. The range of estimates obtained from various methods highlights the complexities in choosing appropriate assumptions, factors, and datasets when calculating food waste baseline amounts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-680
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding support from the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Food waste
  • Minnesota
  • baseline estimate
  • local
  • supply chain


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