How we can boost sustainability, equality, and health by reducing food waste

May 18, 2022 Mark Fabian Season 3 Episode 8
How we can boost sustainability, equality, and health by reducing food waste
Show Notes

Through most of human history, we needed more food, cheaper food, and easier to access food, so we built economic systems that could deliver mountains of the stuff. Now that was a noble effort at the time, but we didn’t think much about waste, and so huge quantities of food today ends up in landfill where it turns to greenhouse gases, or rots on the vine, squandering the resources we used to produce it. Much of our food is also of dubious nutritional quality but can meet our demands for supposedly ‘fresh’ produce in all seasons by surviving long supply chains of freezer ships, freezer trucks, and freezer supermarkets. All that is carbon intensive. What if we could more efficiently utilise the food system we already have to produce higher quality food less wastefully? A win for our waistlines, a win for our wallets, and a win for the planet. To guide us through the latest research on food waste, ePODstemology’s guest this episode is Dr Christian Reynolds, Senior Lecturer in Food Policy at City University London. Dr Reynolds is an economist by training, but like many early career researchers is thoroughly interdisciplinary in his work, operating out of the school of health and psychological sciences. Christian’s work has appeared in numerous top journals including Food Policy, The Lancet, Ecological Economics, and Waste Management. He talks us through the research issues in food waste management, what food waste is, what drives it, and what we can do about it. We hope you enjoy the conversation. 

Christian’s Academic page: https://www.city.ac.uk/about/people/academics/christian-reynolds 

Gavin Stewart at University of Newcastle doing evidence synthesis: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/nes/people/profile/gavinstewart.html 

University of Aberdeen Rowitt Institute for Nutrition Science: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/rowett/ 

Wansink, B., & van Ittersum, K. (2013). Portion size me: Plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 19(4), 320–332. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035053

World Resources Institute on food loss and climate change: https://www.wri.org/insights/whats-food-loss-and-waste-got-do-climate-change-lot-actually 

EAT Lancet report on a scientifically-informed healthy and sustainable diet: https://eatforum.org/eat-lancet-commission/ 

Dr Megan Blake at University of Sheffield who works on food security and food justice: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/geography/people/academic-staff/megan-blake 

FareShare: https://fareshare.org.uk/ 

HelloFresh meal boxes: https://www.hellofresh.com.au/ 

Riverford organic, sustainable, smallholder produce boxes: https://www.riverford.co.uk/ 

Oddbox wonky fruit and veg: https://www.oddbox.co.uk/

Blue Apron ready meals: https://www.blueapron.com/ 

Chill the fridge out: https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/article/chill-fridge-out 

Plastics Pact: https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/the-plastics-pact-network