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Daniel Moccia-Field

Yale University, MS
EREF Scholar 2017

Closing Resource Loops in Institutional Food WasteProject Description:

The waste stream from institutional food production is both a challenge and an opportunity. Low quality and high volume, too much of the material from these establishments passes directly out of the kitchen window into the trash can. From a systems perspective, Daniel sees many schools that rely on meal subsidies funneling scarce government resources directly into the waste stream. Optimal investment in human capital requires a wholly different approach to system design.

His research seeks to map stakeholders across the institutional food waste landscape, with the goal of highlighting network effects and creating synergies. Additionally, he is building a toolkit to operationalize these new relationships, using participant observation, stakeholder mapping and material flow analysis to support varied waste management strategies. Finally, he intends to change the perspective of food production professionals by introducing systems science and circular economy to discussion of strategy and operations.

This project has wide applications for food production, from commercial manufacturing to public school food service. The end result of this research will be a plan to empower stakeholders across the industry to conserve resources through waste stream management.

Daniel Moccia-Field graduated from Williams College with a BA in English Literature in 2006. Daniel worked in the culinary industry, initially teaching cooking and nutrition to high school students, moving on to catering, and eventually spending five years working in fine dining. As he moved into management positions he became fascinated by the business side of food: procurement, supply chain and waste management. Daniel left that world to return to graduate school and see the industry from a broader perspective. He is currently in his second year of an MBA/Environmental Studies joint degree at Yale. His focus is on strategy and operations, with an emphasis on environmental impact in the food supply chain.