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

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Title: Wasting Food is Rubbish: Barriers and Opportunities for Food Waste Diversion in Guelph, ON
Author: VanBemmel, Alexis; Parizeau, Kate
Abstract: Food waste has many negative environmental, economic, and social impacts. The Food and Agriculture Organization Reported in 2011 that approximately one third of food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted. Rotting food dumped in landfills is responsible for the annual release of about 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases. While increasing attention is being paid to this problem, little region-specific research exists on food waste in Canada, and in Southwestern Ontario in particular. This research investigates the flow of food waste along the food waste hierarchy in Guelph in order to identify barriers, motivations, and opportunities to increase food waste diversion. 33 respondents along the food value chain participated in interviews. The findings indicated five clear barriers experienced by almost every sector. Opportunities identified include increased education and awareness around proper food handling and “best before” dates, as well as regulatory interventions. The research team also used an actor-network approach to examine particular aspects of food waste and the paths it takes, which revealed that many of the findings relate to how the physical properties of food affect how it is thought of and dealt with. This research reveals the ways in which we relate to both food and waste systems. This research also provides recommendations for food waste solutions across the value chain, including education and awareness campaigns, legislation that encourages donation or diversion activities, organics bans, and creating end markets for compost and digestate.
Description: Poster was part of 'What We Know' display, held on March 1, 2017 at the Quebec Street Mall in Downtown Guelph. At 'What We Know,' the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute brought together 50 posters featuring diverse research on Guelph and Wellington from community organizations, municipal staff, faculty and students. Topics included feral cats, farmland loss, food waste, the wellbeing of children and more - all specific to Guelph and Wellington.
Date: 2017-03-01
Rights: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
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Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada