Although food waste is a widely discussed topic, most efforts have focused on consumers, with on-farm food loss receiving little attention. Our pilot study in California revealed the variability and complexity of reasons for on-farm food loss, many of which farmers cannot control. Interviewees spoke of market volatility and unpredictable weather as key contributors to loss, noting that much lost food is repurposed on-farm rather than ending up in a landfill. On the basis of our findings, we identify potential strategies for better aligning food recovery efforts with farmer limitations and needs and make suggestions for the role Extension can play in research and food recovery efforts.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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