Food Waste: The Value of Knowledge-Based Campaigns in Environmental Protection

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John Wargo
Essay Abstract: 
In the United States, over 40% of the total available food is lost or wasted. Postconsumer food waste, which results from individual waste behaviors, accounts for a large proportion of this loss. Despite significant social, environmental, and economic consequences, the government and food industry have taken little action to prevent or recover food waste. Using the case of Yale University, this study seeks to address behavioral issues in an institutional cafeteria setting and determine whether a simple knowledge-based campaign, focused on the negative impacts of food waste, can effectively reduce wasteful behaviors in students. A secondary objective of this study is to determine why students waste food and provide constructive commentary for Yale Dining to promote less wasteful behaviors.