Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2014


John van Buren


This thesis examines food waste within the United States as an environmental and social problem. It is estimated that 40% of food in the United States is thrown out every year, and the disciplines highlighted in this thesis explains why food waste exists. First, the amount of food wasted and the reasons behind the waste is explored. Second, the history of food production and consumption within the United States is analyzed to give further explain the waste epidemic. Third, the agricultural policies which have contributed to food waste are explained in detail. Fourth, the economic and environmental impacts of food waste are emphasized. Fifth, the concept of environmental justice is applied to the ethical issues surrounding food waste. Finally, a number of solutions are presented to end food waste.