Wasting Food is Rubbish: Barriers and Opportunities for Food Waste Diversion in Guelph, ON

Van Bemmel, Alexis
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University of Guelph

Food waste is a serious global issue that has significant environmental, economic, and social impacts. While increasing attention is being paid to this problem, little region specific research exists on food waste in Canada, and Southwestern Ontario in specific. This research investigates the flow of food waste along the food waste hierarchy in Guelph, ON in order to identify barriers, motivations, and opportunities to increase food waste diversion. 33 respondents along the food value chain participated in semi-structured interviews to provide insight for this research. An actor-network approach was employed to examine the socio-material aspects of food waste and the paths it takes, which revealed that many of the findings relate to the materiality of food/waste. This research contributes to a greater understanding of how we relate to both food and waste systems, and provides recommendations for food waste solutions across the value chain.

food waste, materiality, actor-network theory