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Johansson, Kristina, 2016. What is the problem with food waste? : the role of attitudes for food waste in school meals. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Today one third of all food produced in the world is estimated to be wasted or lost. Agriculture and
livestock production is part of a resource intensive industry with environmental consequences contributing
to climate change and other pressing natural resource issues. Food waste occurs at several
stages in the food chain, and middle- and high-income countries are estimated to be responsible for
the main losses that occur at distribution and consumption level. This study focuses on food waste
in a Swedish context with focus on public food services and especially school meals. With emphasis
on attitudes and how they reflect dominating discourses about food production, attitudes about food
waste in school meals have been scrutinised. Semi-structured interviews have been carried out at
several levels of organisation working with school meals; national-, municipality-, and school
kitchen level. The attitudes towards food waste appear to be complex and many times contradictory.
The results indicate that it is seen as wrong to discard food and the negative environmental effects
are also recognised, although the problem of food waste seems to be defined differently due to context.
Interviews on several levels of organisation demonstrate that the problem of food waste is defined
in economic terms, in attitudes and knowledge about food in general, in regulations and organisational
structures or even denied to be a problem. The dominating attitudes have been linked to
the theoretical concept of food regimes, which emphasise the influence of different food production
systems on peoples’ relation to food. The study implies the importance to recognise attitudes and
the impacts of social and economic structure in order to understand causes for food waste and also
possible measures to reduce it.

Main title:What is the problem with food waste?
Subtitle:the role of attitudes for food waste in school meals
Authors:Johansson, Kristina
Supervisor:Norrby, Thomas and Eriksson, Mattias
Examiner:Marquardt, Kristina
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:food waste, food regimes, attitudes, school meals
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Food processing and preservation
Deposited On:20 Sep 2016 06:45
Metadata Last Modified:20 Sep 2016 06:45

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