Anna Nagurney is the Eugene M. Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies and PhD Coordinator in Management Science and Director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks Operations & Information Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
“In the United States, about 40 percent of the food supply is wasted, of which about 1/3 is at the retail and consumer level. This translates to 200 billion pounds of food waste valued at over 160 billion dollars. Reducing food waste along the food supply chain could help feed those in need, and could also help conserve resources, such as land, water, energy and labor. labor, used to produce, process and store, as well as to dispose of discarded food. Also, in addition to reducing food waste, we must do everything to mitigate climate change and its effects. We have seen more frequent severe weather events in the pandemic, such as droughts, floods and forest fires, which have negatively impacted agricultural productivity as well as distribution. It is a crucial challenge for our time. There needs to be more cooperation and less competition between actors in the food supply chains. By working together we can accomplish so much good.