# Meal Equivalents

Definition:
The Meal Equivalents for a solution is the estimated number of meals that would be eaten by people instead of wasted or recycled (e.g., composted, fed to animals) if a particular solution was fully implemented.
Master Meal Equivalents Equation (for Prevention and Donation solutions only):
Meal Equivalents = Solution Diversion Potential Tons / 1.2 lbs per meal / 2,000 lbs per ton

In ReFED’s data model, the following calculations are repeated for every sector, state, and food type before any aggregation is done.

Table 5. Calculations Performed to Estimate Water Savings Potential of U.S. Food Waste Solutions

DATA ITEM

DATA SOURCE OR CALCULATION

EXAMPLE

Annual Solution Diversion Potential

See Diversion Potential calculations above.

ReFED estimates that ‘__solutions_example_solution_name__’ could divert __solutions_example_tons_diverted__ tons of __solutions_example_refed_food_department__ Catering Overproduction annually in the __solutions_example_state__ __solutions_example_sub_sector__ __solutions_example_sub_sector_category__ __solutions_example_sector__ sector.

Meal Equivalents

For Prevention and Donation solutions:
= Solution Diversion Potential (Annual Tons) * 2,000 lbs per ton / 1.2 lbs per meal

For Recycling solutions:
= 0
Because recycling food (composting, animal feed, etc.) won’t lead to meals for people.
= __solutions_example_tons_diverted__ tons diverted * 2,000 lbs per ton / 1.2 lbs per meal
= __solutions_example_meal_equivalents__ meal equivalents

Reminder: This example calculation is not the total meal equivalents for the solution. These calculations were repeated for every sector, cause, food type, and state before aggregating and summing the total meal equivalents for each solution.