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Towards sustainable food systems: exploring household food waste by photographic diary in relation to unprocessed, processed and ultra-processed food

Towards sustainable food systems: exploring household food waste by photographic diary in relation to unprocessed, processed and ultra-processed food
Towards sustainable food systems: exploring household food waste by photographic diary in relation to unprocessed, processed and ultra-processed food

Global society is wasting food at unsustainable levels, and unconsumed food is contributing markedly to carbon emissions. Simultaneously, food insecurity and obesity are increasingly prevalent concerns in high-income countries. This study aimed to evaluate food waste at the household level to understand relationships between discarded food, food processing and household characteristics. A sociodemographic and food security survey of householders in Hampshire (UK) was conducted alongside a seven-day photographic food waste diary. Of the total food waste from 94 participants, 87% was unprocessed, 51% was avoidable or potentially avoidable and 36% was unavoidable. Of the total food waste, 61% occurred during food preparation. Greater amounts of avoidable food waste occurred in one, three and four+ person households than in two-person households. Potentially avoidable food waste was greater in households educated to postgraduate and university degree level than others. The outcomes of this study indicate that the focus on interventions should vary demographically. Interventions that support food security, improving diet quality and saving money, while reducing avoidable and unprocessed food waste, in one, three and four+ person households during food preparation are one option. Reducing potentially avoidable unprocessed food waste is a priority in households educated to university degree level and above.

consumer, diet quality, food security, food waste, household, nutrition, photographic diary, processed food, ultra-processed food
2071-1050
Barker, Hannah
94312934-2508-4d08-a5fe-6f54544f96cf
Shaw, Peter
935dfebf-9fb6-483c-86da-a21dba8c1989
Richards, Beth
fc174195-e0bf-4466-b568-96acd1da24f0
Clegg, Zoe
3a60d5a6-e380-44ba-b6ab-88ecb616b531
Smith, Dianna
e859097c-f9f5-4fd0-8b07-59218648e726
Barker, Hannah
94312934-2508-4d08-a5fe-6f54544f96cf
Shaw, Peter
935dfebf-9fb6-483c-86da-a21dba8c1989
Richards, Beth
fc174195-e0bf-4466-b568-96acd1da24f0
Clegg, Zoe
3a60d5a6-e380-44ba-b6ab-88ecb616b531
Smith, Dianna
e859097c-f9f5-4fd0-8b07-59218648e726

Barker, Hannah, Shaw, Peter, Richards, Beth, Clegg, Zoe and Smith, Dianna (2023) Towards sustainable food systems: exploring household food waste by photographic diary in relation to unprocessed, processed and ultra-processed food. Sustainability, 15 (3), [2051]. (doi:10.3390/su15032051).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Global society is wasting food at unsustainable levels, and unconsumed food is contributing markedly to carbon emissions. Simultaneously, food insecurity and obesity are increasingly prevalent concerns in high-income countries. This study aimed to evaluate food waste at the household level to understand relationships between discarded food, food processing and household characteristics. A sociodemographic and food security survey of householders in Hampshire (UK) was conducted alongside a seven-day photographic food waste diary. Of the total food waste from 94 participants, 87% was unprocessed, 51% was avoidable or potentially avoidable and 36% was unavoidable. Of the total food waste, 61% occurred during food preparation. Greater amounts of avoidable food waste occurred in one, three and four+ person households than in two-person households. Potentially avoidable food waste was greater in households educated to postgraduate and university degree level than others. The outcomes of this study indicate that the focus on interventions should vary demographically. Interventions that support food security, improving diet quality and saving money, while reducing avoidable and unprocessed food waste, in one, three and four+ person households during food preparation are one option. Reducing potentially avoidable unprocessed food waste is a priority in households educated to university degree level and above.

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sustainability-15-02051-v2 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 18 January 2023
Published date: February 2023
Additional Information: Funding Information: The research for this article was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (Grant Number ES/P000673/1). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 by the authors.
Keywords: consumer, diet quality, food security, food waste, household, nutrition, photographic diary, processed food, ultra-processed food

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 473924
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/473924
ISSN: 2071-1050
PURE UUID: b10bcc59-9da1-44c1-92af-fede3e8beeca
ORCID for Hannah Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2639-3503
ORCID for Peter Shaw: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0925-5010
ORCID for Dianna Smith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0650-6606

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Date deposited: 03 Feb 2023 18:09
Last modified: 13 Jun 2024 01:47

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Contributors

Author: Hannah Barker ORCID iD
Author: Peter Shaw ORCID iD
Author: Beth Richards
Author: Zoe Clegg
Author: Dianna Smith ORCID iD

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