Laura Moreno

PhD Designated Emphasis in STS

Energy and Resources Group,
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Designated Emphasis in STS
Advisor(s)Alastair Iles
Degrees M.A. Energy and Resources Group :: University of California, Berkeley (2015)
B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies :: University of California, Berkeley (2008)

Research Areas

Approximately 40% of edible food harvested in the United States goes to waste, costing the U.S. over $165 billion a year. Additionally, 25% of freshwater consumed, 4% of the U.S. energy budget, and 2% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are used to grow edible food that is never eaten. My research focuses on reducing food waste along the supply chain, especially at the consumer level. To do this, my research has two prongs: (i) Community-level food waste measurement; and (ii) Sociological exploration of the transformation from food to waste in households. By coupling the quantification of food waste, including reasons for loss, with the social context of wasting food, I hope to better understand why food is wasted in order to design interventions to effectively prevent edible food from going uneaten.

Born and raised in central California, my early childhood was spent on my family’s ranch picking newly fallen fruit because it was the sweetest and most delicious. This kick started my passion for food – growing, cooking, and eating! I started focusing on waste issues while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley performing waste audits in the residence halls. After graduating, I worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region for more than four years as an environmental scientist focusing on food waste, renewable energy, and green building. I returned to UC Berkeley for a Masters degree in the Energy and Resources Group to focus on household food waste prevention.

last updated: April 17th, 2020