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“Around 40% of the total food produced in the United States goes uneaten” – National Resources Defense Council, 2017

This equals a shocking 133 billions pounds (218 billion dollars worth) of food ending up in the landfill. This not only translates into a huge loss of resources, but food waste in landfills produces a greenhouse gas called methane. All this while 1 in 9 people in the world are hungry.

KNOW Food Waste (or KFW) is a group of students at Ohio State working towards reducing, repurposing and educating about food waste on campus. It was founded by three food science students to compel all individuals to think about this topic and to take action.

Organization Purpose:

The KNOW: Educate The Ohio State University community on food waste. To provide the community with the “know-hows” for reducing and repurposing research-driven and personal food waste in the academic setting.


The NO: Develop and execute food waste reduction and reutilization initiatives to close the loop on food waste


KFW operates to reduce food waste based on EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy. Reduce first, then reuse and lastly recycle. KFW is made up of three committees:

  • Education and Outreach: To educate the Ohio State community about food waste through seminars, field trips, social media, podcasts and more
  • Repurposing: Aimed at source food waste reduction in cafe’s at Ohio State and in consumer households through food drives, community refrigerator, upcycling etc.
  • Composting: To implement composting initiatives in buildings with a goal to make cafe’s zero waste (redirection of 90% or more waste away from landfills)