Hawaii wastes 26 percent of available food supply

Written by Ilima Loomis | Published 02/12/2016 | Posted in


We may buy that clamshell of beautiful, ripe strawberries with the best of intentions – pancakes! cobbler! fruit salad! – but when the end of the week comes and they’re getting soft and fuzzy in the back of the produce drawer, we’re likely to throw them in the trash. Multiply that process by several thousand households, and you’ll get a mountain of moldy berries.

How big is that mountain? That’s the question UH economists Matthew Loke and PingSun Leung set out to answer, with a study aimed at quantifying Hawaii’s food waste. Their findings, published in 2015 in the journal Waste Management & Research, estimate that, even as Hawaii residents pay some of the highest food prices in the country, we still throw out around 237,000 tons of food per year, or more than 26 percent of the available food supply.

Read the rest of my story for Hawaii Business magazine here.