Food Loss and Waste: Measurement, Drivers, and Solutions

Edward S. Spang, Laura C. Moreno, Sara A. Pace, Yigal Achmon, Irwin Donis-Gonzalez, Wendi A. Gosliner, Madison P. Jablonski-Sheffield, Md Abdul Momin, Tom E. Quested, Kiara S. Winans, Thomas P. Tomich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


It has been estimated that one-third of global food is lost or wasted, entailing significant environmental, economic, and social costs. The scale and impact of food loss and waste (FLW) has attracted significant interest across sectors, leading to a relatively recent proliferation of publications. This article synthesizes existing knowledge in the literature with a focus on FLW measurement, drivers, and solutions. We apply the widely adopted DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) framework to structure the review. Key takeaways include the following: Existing definitions of FLW are inconsistent and incomplete, significant data gaps remain (by food type, stage of supply chain, and region, especially for developing countries), FLW solutions focus more on proximate causes rather than larger systemic drivers, and effective responses to FLW will require complementary approaches and robust evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-156
Number of pages40
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2019


  • FLW
  • drivers
  • food loss and waste
  • impacts
  • policy
  • recovery
  • recycling
  • reduction


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