"Food Waste Policy: Using Systems Change to Stop Squandering One of Our Greatest Resources"
More than enough food is produced to feed every person, yet between one-third and 40% of food is wasted in the United States. Redirecting safe, surplus food can be complicated. Food is heavily regulated and laws often pose barriers to food donation. Law and policy can serve as both a contributing factor to food loss and a tool to drive food waste reduction. Food is lost throughout the supply chain for many reasons, including policies that create barriers to food waste reduction and recovery. For example, the absence of federal regulation of date labels on food products leads to confusion over whether foods can be consumed past the date, leading to unnecessary food waste. At the same time, policy can play an important role in facilitating increase food recovery. One barrier to recovery of safe food is the cost to store, package, prepare, and transport donated food. Tax incentives for food donation can help offset these costs, encouraging donation by making it more cost effective. Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic has been at the forefront nationally of educating food businesses and nonprofit food recovery organizations about the relevant laws, supporting these organizations in developing creative solutions to increase food recovery, and driving policy change at the federal, state, and local level to help align incentives with beneficial practices. Emily Broad Leib will share the key knowledge developed by FLPC, providing an overview of the causes of food waste, the key legal and policy barriers and opportunities, and a snapshot of the most current policies under consideration by federal and state governments to address these challenges.
Emily M. Broad Leib is Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, and Deputy Director of the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation. Broad Leib founded Harvard’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, the first law school clinic in the nation devoted to providing legal and policy guidance on food law and policy issues. Broad Leib focuses her scholarship, teaching, and practice on finding solutions to the biggest health, economic, and environmental issues facing our food system. She has published scholarly articles in the California Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the Food & Drug Law Journal, and the Journal of Food Law & Policy, among others.