Insights Engine Methodologies

The ReFED Insights Engine offers the most comprehensive examination of food waste in the United States by incorporating current data from a variety of sources, including public and proprietary datasets, expert interviews, case studies, and industry research. The following methodologies explain the procedures implemented to integrate, standardize, and validate all information in the Food Waste Monitor, Solutions Database, Impact Calculator, and Capital Tracker to ensure that, separately and cohesively, all information aligns with outside experts and all generally accepted practices.

Food Waste Monitor

A centralized repository of information built with data from more than 50 public and proprietary datasets and providing granular estimates of how much food goes uneaten in the U.S., why it’s happening, and where it goes.

Solutions Database

A stakeholder-specific, comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of 40+ food waste reduction solutions based on a range of impact goals, plus detailed fact sheets on each.

Impact Calculator

An interactive resource that quantifies the greenhouse gas emissions reduction, water savings, and donated meal recovery potential of different food surplus management scenarios in the U.S. by sector and food type.

Capital Tracker

A dashboard to monitor the flow of capital into food waste innovation, allowing users to understand the landscape, identify key players, and plan out future funding strategies.


Timeframe icon
12 months
Timeframe icon
Food Category
All Food and Beverages*
Lifecycle Stage
Timeframe icon
Material Type
Inedible Parts
Timeframe icon
Food Donation
Animal Feed
Industrial Uses*
Anaerobic digestion*
Land Application
Not Harvested
  • “Food Donation” has been added as a Destination
  • “Biomaterial Processing is referred to as “Industrial Uses” in our model
  • “Co/anaerobic digestion” is referred to as “Anaerobic digestion” in our model
  • “Controlled Combustion” is referred to as “Incineration” in our model
  • “Refuse/discards” is referred to as “Dumping” in our model
  • Water, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages are excluded from the scope of "All Food and Beverages"

Have Any Questions?

For any questions about the data, our methodologies, or technical feedback related to the functionality of the Insights Engine, please write to [email protected].



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