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Student explores impact of food waste for Vinson Fellows project

October 11, 2018

By Jacquelyn Harms

Jacquelyn Harms

Student explores impact of food waste for Vinson Fellows project

I am a West Coast baby, born and raised! I lived in California, Oregon and Washington before moving here to attend the University of Georgia. I love calling this little slice of the South my home. UGA and Athens have taught me two things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life: good food and good football!

After graduation, I plan to move to Washington, D.C., to work for a couple of years before enrolling in graduate school to study national security issues. I hope to work in trade security and export controls. Although this is not often discussed, solid trade security policy is essential to making the world a safer place.

As a Vinson Fellow, I am researching how food affects the waste stream in the United States and what can be done to reduce this waste stream. I am honored to be working with Kris Krauza Sikes, my faculty mentor, on this project. I have begun my project by examining food waste policy in South Korea, a global leader in reducing food waste. I have also been able to conduct interviews on campus with sustainability leaders and even residents from South Korea to inquire about food waste policy and how it affects their day-to-day lives on campus and in South Korea.

My research will allow me to dive into an issue that most Americans (including myself) do not think about when preparing meals. I also can scale back and look at what large institutions like UGA are doing to reduce their own waste stream. I am excited to look into the factors that affect food waste here in the United States; from expiration dates to taxing food waste!


Jacquelyn, an Honors Policy Scholar from Camas, Wash., is pursuing a double major in political science and international affairs. She is a Russell Security Leadership Scholar at the UGA Center for International Trade and Security and an undergraduate research assistant with the School of Public and International Affairs. She is president of UGA’s Moot Court team, a UGA Judiciary justice and an Arch Society and SPIA ambassador.