Food is Food Blog

A systematic review of food losses and food waste generation in developed countries

Finally my first peer reviewed paper is published.
It is available for free download at

Authors: Paul van der Werf, BSc (Agr), MSc and Jason A. Gilliland, BA (Hon), MA, MArch, PhD

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Waste and Resource Management

Published Online: May 02, 2017

WRM journal
The objective of this systematic literature review was to compile and assess food losses and waste estimates, from developed countries, across the food supply chain. The methodology involved systematically identifying studies and extracting, compiling and analysing their estimates of food losses and waste. Of the 55 estimates extracted, from these studies, the most (43·6%) were from the consumption (average 114·3 (kg/capita)/year) part of the food supply chain. On average, total food losses and waste were 198·9 (kg/capita)/year. While this review revealed a high degree of variability of estimates and inconsistent trends for the independent variables: scope of food waste, geography and study methodologies; food waste generation, at the consumption part of the food supply chain, was significantly higher for North American compared with European estimates (p = 0·003); and significantly higher (p = 0·030) for indirect than direct estimates. Similarly, total food waste generation indirect estimates were significantly higher (p = 0·035) than directly measured estimates. To improve the accuracy and precision of food losses and waste estimates, additional research is required to develop and implement a bespoke, weight-based and statistically sound methodology for its direct measurement.

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