Date of Award



Edward Van Buren


It is estimated that Americans waste over half of their food, depleting natural resources and destroying native ecosystems. Food is wasted daily through a variety of methods, whether through the picking practiced on farms, the selectivity of grocery stores for the best looking produce, and the over-consumption of food by consumers who are unaware of the effects of uneaten food. With the industrial revolution and the “eat more” agricultural tactics pushed post- WWII onto society, the American relationship with food has quickly declined. Urbanization has lent itself to the power of the food industry in transforming farming into another transnational economic production. To understand the effects of mass consumption and waste, it is necessary to consider the various factors affecting the way Americans eat. Food politics and agri-economics both play a vital role in controlling and manipulating the American diet. Consequently, readily available goods at increasingly lower prices now define the American food culture such that ethical food practices seem to have no place. However, there is now a push towards sustainable and civic agriculture, which poses as a solution that can help reduce food waste and increase environmental consciousness.