Plenary • Food Waste Reduction & Surplus Food Recovery

October 26, 2023 from 3:15 pm to 4:00 pm

Speaker: Moderator: Sean Potts • Speakers: Marie Mourad, Lily Herd

Times are listed in Pacific Standard Time

According to the U.S. EPA, in the U.S., 30 to 40 percent of the food supply is never eaten, wasting the resources used to produce it and creating many environmental impacts. Food waste is the single most common material landfilled and incinerated in the U.S.

More than 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from landfilled food waste result from activities prior to disposal, including production, transport, processing, and distribution. In order to reduce these emissions, we need to prevent food waste from being generated in the first place.

This session is focused on food waste reduction and surplus food recovery.

  • Marie Mourad will present on: Regulating Away Food Waste: Lessons from pioneering Californian and French policies. Marie’s recent book, based on more than 250 interviews with stakeholders between 2012 and 2022, reviewed 10 years of activism, entrepreneurship, and policies addressing food waste. She reveals that despite formally strong and binding regulatory language, both the French and Californian laws largely depend on voluntary commitments from local jurisdictions, companies, and non-profit organizations.
  • Lily Herd will present on: The intersection of food waste and issues of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). ReFED’s JEDI report compiles insights from a series of more than 30 interviews with leading experts across the food system — as well as industries indirectly connected to the food system — illuminating food waste impacts brought on by concerns in the areas including labor/working conditions, capital flows (to solution providers), food assistance infrastructure and process, consumer education, and composting infrastructure.

Moderator: Sean Potts, USDA – Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

Marie Mourad, Food Waste Expert & Consultant
Lily Herd, ReFED