we are going to feed the world, arent we?
This research aims to clarify the nature of food waste, which is the visible part of the inefficiency of the current economy. In the UK, people throw away annually 6.7 million tonnes of food. This dissertation focuses on the main causes that create waste, and how to reduce them, as well as identify the most common situations in which people repeatedly produce waste. It was felt necessary to give an alternative model of the food marketing system, and also discover whether people are ready to accept it.
Two main methodologies were employed: the first was to collect examples of waste and the second was a structured interview mainly intended to capture the meaning of the actors’ actions, thus combining inductive and deductive strategies.
It was found that most wasted food is middle priced foods with a short product lifetime, usually purchased beyond the consumers’ actual needs. The decision to buy these foods is usually made in the shop; consequently, the main resulting problem is surplus food. As for the causes of waste, it was identified that size, quality, storage conditions, taste, overstocking and time were the main factors of waste generation. 65% of consumers are ready to use some tool to optimize their consumption.
The literature review supported the empirical evidence gathered by the author about human behaviour. It could be claimed that, within the frames of the current food marketing model, based on the archaic principals of decision making, it would be impossible to increase the quality of consumption and reduce waste at the same time. Theories of careful consumption provide a background to consumers who would like to reduce waste and increase the quality of life. The implementation of such theory’s time horizon could be brought closer to our days, mainly due to the accelerated information progress process.
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