Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Collart, Alba J.

Committee Member

Interis, Matthew G.

Committee Member

Maples, Joshua G.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agriculture (Agricultural Economics)

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Agricultural Economics


In developed countries, approximately 222 million tons of food is wasted at the consumer level per year (FAO, 2011). These amounts of food waste have large social, economic, and environmental impacts. Studies have shown that one of the main causes of food waste in developed countries is consumers’ elevated expectations for appearances in fresh produce, causing imperfect produce to be wasted. In this study, we estimate consumer willingness to pay for sweet potatoes with five different skinning injury levels using a Vickrey 2nd price non- hypothetical auction. We test if consumer knowledge about (1) the percentage of blemishing, (2) the relationship between blemished produce and food waste, and (3) the environmental impacts of food waste influences willingness-to-pay for blemished produce. We find that consumer bids were affected by knowing the blemishing levels and after gaining knowledge about food waste and its environmental impacts.