Food losses and waste in a food system context (KB-22-002-005)

Project: EZproject

Project Details


Problem: Estimated at 1/3rd of food produced, loss and waste are unaffordable, unacceptable and unsustainable because - (1) from an economic perspective, we simply cannot afford it as it entails costs for both producers and consumers; (2) from a food security perspective, it is morally unacceptable given that hunger amongst the poor and vulnerable is still prevalent; and (3) from a climate change/natural resource perspective, it is unsustainable as it embodies scarce water, land and entails unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Not capturing FLW adequately reduces the scientific and policy relevance of economic analyses


Research Objective: Find the importance of reducing food waste and loss as adaptation option and its impact on macro-economic (consumption, food prices, land-use) variables. Household waste in general, and food waste in particular, contains ample nutrients that can be brought to value in a circular economy approach. Of late (last year) there has been a debate about what exactly is waste because recycling/composting is still second best use. So we extend a model that we have used before to analyse the income and food system drivers of food waste. The innovation is to incorporate waste use in the model so as not to just capture the cost but the second best uses as well. The model is applied to case study that explores the impact of a particular circular strategy in The Netherlands.



  1. A system of food waste generation and its possible use.
  2. Publication including the two methods mentioned above
  3. model documentation describing the approach and changes made to it in order to account for the food loss and waste phenomenon in MAGNET model. 
Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/18

Research Output

Consumers discard a lot more food than widely believed: Estimates of global food waste using an energy gap approach and affluence elasticity of food waste

van den Bos Verma, M., de Vreede, L., Achterbosch, T. & Rutten, M. M., 12 Feb 2020, In : PLoS ONE. 15, 2, e0228369.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    A Systems Approach to Food Loss and Solutions: Understanding Practices, Causes, and Indicators

    Verma, M., Plaisier, C., van Wagenberg, C. P. A. & Achterbosch, T. J., 22 Jan 2019, In : Sustainability. 11, 3, 579.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Consumer Food Waste: New estimates and approach Inferring consumption food waste from private expenditure

    Verma, M., de Vreede, L., Rutten, M. M. & Achterbosch, T. J., Jul 2017. 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

  • Activities

    • 1 Oral presentation