Food Waste- The reasons, characteristics and possible solutions

berriesPearson et al. (2013) presents an overview of why food waste is generated, based on a review of the literature, and then attempts to put this into an Australian context. While the paper does not offer anything new it does it does categorize the reasons and socio economic characteristics of food waste generation and possible approaches to prevent food waste generation.

The nine reasons for food waste generation include:
1. Unaware/don’t care
2. Can afford to waste
3. High quality standards
4. Inefficient purchase planning
5. Buying too much
6. Cooking too much
7. Lack of kitchen skills
8. High sensitivity to food safety
9. Change of plans

The key socioeconomic characteristics for food waste generation included:
1. Age- younger people generate more food waste
2. Income- higher income people generate more food waste (on a monetary basis)
3. Household size- larger households generate more food waste while single family households generate more food
waste on a per capita basis.
4. Household type- single households, households with young children and shared households (i.e. with a number of
tenants living in a single home) tend to generate the most food waste.

Approaches to reducing food waste included:
1. Communicate the value of food waste to generators
2. Communicate the environmental impact of food waste to generators
3. Educating consumers on food shopping behaviours
4. Educating consumers on kitchen skills
5. Working with retailers to help them and their clients reduce food waste

Pearson, D., Minehan, M., & Wakefield-Rann, R. (2013). Food waste in Australian households: Why does it occur. Aust. Pac. J. Reg. Food Stud, 3, 118-132.

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