Redistributing food waste

Researchers for WRAP estimate that the UK currently produces 1.9 million tonnes of waste each year from the grocery supply chain[1].  Of this, about 56% (1.1. million tonnes) can be considered avoidable food waste.  Wrap argues that after changing processes to reduce the amount of food becoming surplus, redistribution of surplus food to people is the most desirable option for food waste prevention.  They estimate that about 18% is currently redistributed, with food from the retail sector accounting for about five percent of the total volume of redistributed food and the remainder coming from manufacturing. The WRAP report also considers that at least half of all the surplus could be considered ‘readily redistributable’,  while the rest is more challenging because of its shorter life or need for repackaging.  The aim is to increase the volume of surplus food that is redistributed by about four times the current amount (from 47,000 tonnes to 185,000 tonnes); to an equivalent of approximately 360 million meals per year by 2025.  Achieving this goal will involve a doubling of the amount of food that is redistributed from retail to consumers. One of the recommendations of the report is the development of improved guidance and partnership tools that would facilitate food redistribution. Continue reading

Food Matters and Neoliberalism: Talk Transcript for Food Matters Symposium

I recently participated in symposium that was considering waste in relation to food.  It was put on as a pre-conference event to the 2015 RGS/IBG meetings held in Exeter. The symposium, which took place on a working farm, was both fascinating and very engaging. You can find out more about the event and its participants on the web site developed by the organisers here.  I encourage you to have a look at the link as you will learn about West Town Farm and the activities of the day. My role at the symposium was to give a short talk around the issue of food waste and neoliberalism.  I chose to use an excellent food re-use project–The Real Junk Food Project–as a mechanism for focusing my questions. I am offering the text of my provocation in what follows.   Continue reading

What makes our Food Security and Food Justice MA distinctive

This autumn will be the inaugural year for the Food Security and Food Justice MA that I have been developing over the last 18 months.  The University of Sheffield has singled it out as being innovative and is using it as an example of good practice in its guidance for those wishing to start up an masters course.  To that end, there is a video of me talking about the course.  What got cut from the video was the discussion about the field course module that is a mandatory part of the course.  It is to Hong Kong and promises to be very exciting.

Eating Sparrow: Tales from the Ivory Tower (video)

As part of the Festival of the Mind activities hosted by the University of Sheffield I participated in a session called Tales from the Ivory Tower. The aim was to talk about research in a story telling format.  Here is the video of my storytelling, which focuses on social inequality and eating sparrow in Hong Kong.