Addressing Food Waste as a Social Issue: Cultural Roots and the Importance of a Multifaceted Approach
Food waste in America amounts to approximately 133 billion pounds of food each year, with loss deriving from every level of the production and consumption chain. Meanwhile, 41.2 million Americans live in food insecure households. Food waste is a detrimental environmental and economic issue. However, food waste is also a social issue. With the rise of an industrialized food system, a culture of abundance and waste dominates the privileged American culture. . . . Those who experience food insecurity are left without access to abundance of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. In the long run, a cultural shift is necessary to attack the roots of a wasteful culture. However, in the short run, initiatives to address food waste specifically as a social issue are necessary to mitigate the issue and work towards the long run goal. Some initiatives already take place at the federal and local levels. Both demonstrate success in different ways; the federal initiatives make room, make widespread, and incentivize initiatives. Small scale initiatives tailor their initiatives to specific communities. Because of the complexity of the dual issue, these initiatives are most efficient when present as a holistic, multi-level approach to tackling food waste. [From introductory section]
Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Bowen H. Spottswood is a member of the Class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.