Food-waste warriors don't
plot and fight. We pickle and freeze.
Dana is a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), focused on food and agriculture. As part of her research a few years back to establish methods for farmers to use less water, fertilizer, and pesticides in their farming, she was stunned to stumble upon outrageous statistics of how much food goes to waste. She thought they couldn’t be true because if they were, everyone would be talking about it. And yet, no one was.
From that, she released Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40% of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill, a widely distributed report that sparked a national dialogue on the topic of wasted food.
She now leads NRDC’s work to reduce how much food goes to waste across the country. She works with businesses, governments, NGOs, and others to try to bring that 40% number down. She is also behind NRDC and the Ad Council's national media campaign, Save the Food.
She co-authored a report called The Dating Game revealing the myths and truths about food expiration dates. Along the way, she realized that there was a big gap—nobody wants to waste food; it just sort of happens, in part because people don’t have the right knowledge at their fingertips. Deciding to put that information out there, she wrote the Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook.
Dana’s work to reduce food waste has been covered on CNN, NBC, The New York Times, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, NPR, and many other outlets. Even HBO’s John Oliver decided to shine some light on it.
In her ever-dwindling spare time, Dana likes to drum up outrageous kitchen concoctions and play in the garden. She has a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University, and lives in Berkeley, CA, where she spends far too much time trying to figure out how to get her toddler to throw less food on the floor.