Alternative Food Venues and Food Waste: From Cultivation to Consumption
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn 2010, 33 million tons of food made its way to landfills in the United States alone (Environmental Protection Agency 2012). That same year 925 million people worldwide were undernourished, 98 percent of them in developing countries (Food and Agriculture Organization 2010). It is this contrast and threats to future global food production that has motivated the study of food systems and particularly of food waste. Existing literature on consumer level food waste almost exclusively emphasizes quantifying and characterizing the behavior of the average American consumer (Gallo 1980, Griffin 2009, Rathje 1996, Van Garde 1987). One question that has garnered far less attention from scholars, however, is how and why a small percentage of American consumers are beginning to make concerted efforts to prevent their personal food waste. This study analyzes survey and interview responses from target groups who acquire their food from non-conventional, alternative market sources in an attempt to find the reasons why certain individuals waste less than the average American consumer. The interview data suggests that consumer participants in these markets experience elevated value and sentiment toward their foods, which ultimately results in heightened consciousness surrounding both food consumption and disposal.
Degree ProgramHonors College