PHOENIX — Even if you finish everything on your plate, food in your house may still be getting wasted.
Consumers often overbuy resulting in perishable items being thrown out, and food they don’t buy that just sits at a store gets wasted as well.
To explore solutions to food waste, Arizona State University is getting nearly $1 million from the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.
“In Arizona and around the country 18 percent of landfills is food waste, according to the EPA – and that may be a conservative number,” said Tim Richards, Marvin and June Morrison Chair in Agribusiness at the W. P. Carey School, in a release. “If we can figure out a way to better utilize food that would otherwise be wasted we can minimize what goes into our landfills and more importantly make better use of the water that’s used to irrigate plants, saving 25 percent of our freshwater supply each year.”
ASU is going to launch two projects to tap into food waste research and figure out ways to solve the problem.
ASU’s first project is going to test online marketplaces and mobile apps. Their idea is for consumers to shop online for their food, where they select the items they want and the app figures out delivery and payment for farmers.
It essentially will mean farmers can gauge a better understanding of what will for sure sell with details of the market readily available.
Through the experiment, researchers are going to test market theories and demand conditions with the help of 400 business school students at ASU and California Polytechnic State University to measure their use of food waste over the course of two years.
The second project will focus on scan-based trading (SBT), where suppliers retain ownership of inventory in their stores until the product is purchased.