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Sustainability News

ASU Now | March 5, 2020

A new federal report by ASU professors highlights how nearly a third of the food produced in the United States never makes it to the grocery aisle, instead ending up in landfills. The research shows that the entire food chain is fraught with unpredictability, from how much it rains to how many farm workers show up for harvest, to which apple will be plucked from the bin. Literal tons of food are thrown away at nearly every step.

Sustainability Scientists Tim Richards and Ashok Mishra, both professors in the W. P. Carey School of Business, were on the nationwide team of researchers who produced the report.

According to Mishra, One of the main reasons for waste is consumer expectations. “Fruits and vegetables can come in any shape or form, and the nutritional quality is the same,” Mishra says. “At the end of the day, consumers have to be willing to accept not-so-perfect fruits.”