Food waste generation in the hospitality and food service sector : prevention insights from MalaysiaPapargyropoulou, Effrosyni 2016 (has links)
Food security is one of the greatest challenges the world faces today. Providing nutritious, safe and affordable food for all in a sustainable way will become even more challenging under the burden of increasing world population and global environmental change. Whist 795 million people are undernourished; one third of the food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted. The food waste – hunger paradox is an illustration firstly of the failing global food system, and secondly of the importance of food waste in the sustainability and food debates. Food waste represents substantial economic losses, has devastating environmental impacts, and moral and ethical implications in the face of food poverty. Due to its detrimental economic, environmental and social impacts, food waste has received increasing attention in research and policy, viewed predominately from an engineering and technological perspective. In response, this research firstly critically reviewed contemporary conceptual frameworks and reframed food waste to produce the Food Waste Hierarchy. Secondly, it critiqued the current methodological approaches and developed a new framework to investigate the scale, origin, patterns and causes of food waste generation in the hospitality and food service sector in Malaysia. Finally, the research identified the most promising food waste prevention measures for the sector. These objectives were achieved by developing and applying a mixed methods interdisciplinary approach that linked the biophysical and economic flows of food provisioning and waste generation, with the social practices associated with food preparation and consumption. The food waste prevention insights that emerged from this research call for change in both the socio-technical systems and social practices related to food production and consumption; a message relevant to the food and broader sustainability research.
Estimating the role of scarcity, prices and political fragility in food and fuel riots : a quantitative and agent-based modelling approachNatalini, Davide 2016 (has links)
Climate and environmental changes are argued to increase the occurrence of conflict. In particular, two types of conflict seem to be driven by underlying environmental processes: food and fuel riots. Although research focussed on understanding the dynamics that cause food riots exists, the evidence is mixed and a solid quantitative analysis on the factors that cause these type of events is missing. Research on fuel riots is currently non-existent. The aim of this research was hence to identify, quantify and simulate the interconnections between scarcity of natural resources, international prices, political fragility and the occurrence of food and fuel riots. The approach implemented was mainly quantitative, with use of statistics, econometrics and Agent-Based Modelling (ABM). These methods allowed a parameterisation of these relationships and inclusion of the results in three different version of an ABM: Food, Fuel and Food and Fuel ABMs. The findings show that national availability of resources does not significantly impact the occurrence of food and fuel riots, while international prices and national political fragility do. Thresholds above which riots are more likely to happen were identified for both the price of food and fuel. For food, volatility was found to have a bigger impact than absolute prices, while for fuel the evidence was mixed and more research is required. In addition, food and fuel riots increase the likelihood of one another. Although the introduction of these parameters in the ABMs did not add to the predictive power of the underlying statistical models, the ABMs form the basis for further developments, in particular as regards the evolution of shocks to the production of resources and consequences in terms of food and fuel riots. This is evidenced by the scenarios developed and implemented in this thesis.
Understanding nutrition policymaking dynamics in the United States : the case of product reformulationScott, C. 2017 (has links)
Background: Voluntary food and beverage product reformulation is a prominent example of how self-regulation and public-private partnerships have become part of the public health nutrition policy landscape. This thesis aims to understand the emergence of reformulation in the nutrition policy system in order to provide insights into nutrition policymaking dynamics in the US. Methods: The methods of this study were based in applied policy research. It focuses on how stakeholders influence the nutrition policy process, including by shaping the framing of reformulation and nutrition policy. The methods consisted of a literature review and qualitative analysis of documents, including submissions to a government-led consultation on reformulation, in-depth stakeholder interviews, and the media. Results: Reformulation’s rise to prominence as a public health approach was the result of a confluence of factors, three of which were particularly important: (1) the consultation analysis revealed that it is a component of the food and beverage industry’s corporate political strategy to avoid and pre-empt public health regulations, (2) the interviews identified that reformulation has the support of a cross-sector coalition, and (3) the media analysis found that reformulation is a chameleonic idea with multiple frames and meanings. Specifically, the framing of reformulation shifted from 1980-2015 to encompass business, health and political frames, and to embody a range of underlying values and beliefs. Synthesising the media analysis with the consultation analysis and interviews showed that the political emphasis of reformulation became common in the early 2000s, when the food and beverage industry was responding to increasing pressure from governments and public health advocates as part of their political strategy. The interviews also found that non-industry stakeholders were fractured in their support for reformulation because they questioned the belief of ‘working with industry’ and whether nutrition policies should be formulated based on nutrients or foods. These fractions, and the lack of a unified counter policy agenda, also contributed to the industry’s ability to promote a voluntary reformulation approach. Conclusion: Voluntary reformulation initiatives form part of the food and beverage industry’s political strategy by building collaborative relationships and establishing a participative role in policymaking. This research therefore points to the need to study the dynamic interactions of stakeholders within the nutrition policy system, rather than conceptualizing industry involvement as an external influence.
Despite the large quantity of research undertaken into the sustainability of food production and transportation systems, there is currently little consensus on the total contribution that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions make to the overall GHG budget of food production systems. To date, most research has focused on the miles that food has travelled and the energy put into the production of pesticides and fertilisers associated with crop production. Understanding whether food imported from distant countries has a higher GHG footprint than locally produced food remains a very topical issue. Our fundamental lack of knowledge of this issue is limiting policy development in this area. Due to difficulties in field measurements mathematical models such as DNDC (DeNitrification DeComposititon) are being used to predict GHG emissions from different ecosystems. In this thesis, a combination of field measurements and model simulations were used to evaluate GHG emissions from different agricultural production systems undertaken in different countries (UK, Spain and Kenya). This thesis also considered the accuracy of the model by undertaking a sensitivity analysis and evaluating the outputs from different model versions. In addition, the accuracy of using a QIO value approach to predict organic matter degradation was also evaluated. Overall, the results suggested that different model versions gave varying outputs, suggesting that predictions of GHG emissions obtained with models such as DNDC should be treated with caution. However, the model did predict similar results to those obtained in the field, although the model outputs tended to be higher. For comparison of GHG emissions from vegetable types grown in different geographical regions, no specific region produced lower GHG results when averaged across all crops. However, when individual crops were considered, Spain had the highest GHG emissions. The models showed different degrees of sensitivity to different inputs, with some not showing any variation at all. In the Q10 evaluation experiments the Q10 values varied greatly, though all gave results above the standard Q10 of 2. Further research is needed into the accuracy of climate and farm management models, and whether or not it is necessary to compare large data sets when considering different vegetable types and areas.
The potential of agent-based modeling as a tool to unravel the complexity of household food security : a case study of rural southern MalawiDobbie, Samantha Louise 2016 (has links)
Household food security is shaped by the way in which households acquire and utilise assets, within a context of vulnerability. The multiple interactions between the various factors that affect the livelihoods of households give rise to often complex and non-linear system behaviour. Conventional policies have failed to eradicate food insecurity within developing country contexts. There is a need for new approaches to direct the design and implementation of interventions that address the multi-scalar and dynamic nature of food security. One possible technique is agent-based modelling, which comprises a computerised simulation of agents located within an environment. Behaviour at the system level is an emergent property of the collective behaviour at the local level, resulting from the interactions between agents and the environment through predisposed rules. Within Malawi, the vast majority of the rural population is engaged in subsistence farming. Continued reliance upon rain-fed agriculture renders smallholders vulnerable to climatic shocks, whilst high population densities, small plot size and poor soil quality further compound food insecurity. The overarching aim of this project was to explore the potential of agent-based modelling to unravel the complexity of household food security within rural Southern Malawi. As a starting point, we used cluster analysis of household survey data to construct a typology of rural households. This drove the design of an agent-based model (ABM) that takes into account the availability, access, utilisation and stability components of food security. Techniques from exploratory modelling and analysis were then employed to explore model uncertainty and identify potential pathways to alleviate food insecurity of households within rural Southern Malawi. The ability of agent-based modelling to address the complexity of food security was then evaluated. The model was found to be highly salient. However, future work will need to enhance the credibility and legitimacy of the tool. It is only then that the true potential of ABM's in addressing the complexity of rural food security will be fulfilled.
Experiences of the food environment and the role of the 'routine' in producing food practices : an ethnography of Sandwell residentsThompson, Claire Pilar 2012 (has links)
Despite a sustained academic interest in food environments and their impact upon dietary practices, relatively little is known about the ways in which individuals interact with the food environment. The multiple and complex factors that influence food choices are difficult to investigate, especially in the family setting where individual and collective practices intersect. This thesis investigates how people perform food practices and unpacks how specific contexts shape, promote and constrain food behaviours. The case study through which this is examined is that of the food practices of 26 residents of Sandwell, a uniformly deprived metropolitan borough in the West Midlands. Through ethnographically collecting accounts and observations of how residents performed food practices, both in the home and while shopping for food, highly routinized behaviours were revealed. The notion of routinized decision making, as it appears in social science research, is developed and adapted to incorporate descriptions of general approaches to routine food behaviours. The novel concept of routines-of-practice is employed to characterise these routines in terms of agency, attitudes towards individualism, and reliance on environmental and contextual cues. Food shopping practices are positioned, to an extent, as acts of consumerism performed in the pervasive consumption environment of the supermarket. The home, by contrast, was depicted as a site of both privacy and responsibility. The ways in which responsibility was interpreted and enacted dictated how family meals and routine home food behaviours were structured. By looking at food practices in terms of repetitive, context specific and often uncritical behaviours, this thesis highlights the importance of place in moulding food practices. Understanding how people interact and interpret their environment has been underestimated in diet-related health policy and promotion. This thesis specifically examines the way food practices are influenced by environment and context at the micro level.
Encouraging environmentally sustainable food consumption : limitations, potential and possibilities of community-based consumer co-opsBihari, Pranav 2016 (has links)
This thesis explores the conditions under which community-based consumer food co-ops can foster pro-environmental food practices. Case study methodology is employed to study five UK food co-ops and identify opportunities and challenges to developing capacities in those co-ops towards: building a shared sense of purpose around environmentally sustainable food consumption; making sustainable food choices accessible and affordable; and, encouraging member participation. Additionally, life history interviews were undertaken with 18 individuals who were already making environmentally friendly food choices to illuminate how community food co-ops can develop strategies to engage their members and promote sustainable food consumption. Building a co-op community with a shared purpose around sustainable food consumption is more likely when there is clarity of focus on the prioritisation of environmental objectives among members and the leadership team; however, high overhead costs may shift the focus to commercial survival. Co-ops can be more price-competitive in the category of fresh produce and unpackaged wholefoods than in packaged and convenience foods. Members' labour can reduce overhead costs, but getting members to participate is a considerable challenge. Democratic structure alone is not enough. Participation was motivated primarily by the need to belong to a community and a commitment to co-ops' perceived values. There was limited evidence at the studied co-ops of systematic efforts to create opportunities for social learning and relationship-building among members towards strengthening volunteering commitment and developing practice-relevant knowledge and skills. Life history accounts of sustainable food practitioners illustrated how factors such as parents and peers, work, education, books and media, living environment, and ethical concerns, worked through key mechanisms of influence, including direct experience, knowledge, social learning, facilitating contexts and personal agency, to shape sustainable food practices over time. Understanding these factors and mechanisms suggests a number of practical strategies for food co-ops to effectively engage their members with environmental objectives. As well as removing structural constraints, effective strategies will be alert to the bi-directional nature of attitude-behaviour relationships and the formative processes that underpin a range of self-transcendent values aligned with environmentally responsible food consumption.
This research explores the reformed UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as an institution addressing a changed world, and as an illustration of evolving global food security governance. The research sets out to answer the extent to which the CFS is realising its reform objectives and how it is positioning itself within a changing architecture of global food security governance. Informed by literature on global governance and embedded neoliberalism, the inquiry centres around three case studies – Civil Society Mechanism, Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, and the Global Strategic Framework – which serve to highlight the operationalization of key reform objectives while simultaneously providing insight into broader policy processes and dynamics. Data was collected through document analysis, participant observation, and interviews. The resulting analysis provides clear evidence of the impact of enhanced participation on policy outcomes and concludes that the policy recommendations emerging from the CFS are amongst the most comprehensive and useful in terms of applicability and uptake at the national and regional level. The analysis also reveals that despite its methods, outcomes and mandate, the CFS is being systematically undermined by other actors seeking to maintain influence and sustain neoliberal hegemony across food security policies at the global level. The research contributes to global governance theory by describing the functioning of a mechanisms that can address democratic deficits in global governance while elucidating related opportunities and challenges. The research also contributes to scholarship on global food security policy by challenging the application of previous analyses to the contemporary reality. The research addresses limitations in global governance literature by mapping the complexity of social and political relations across sites of negotiation, contestation and compromise between actors. The policy implications derived from this thesis focus on the need to further problematize food security and for policies to target structural causes of food insecurity. Building on the experiences of the CFS, this thesis concludes that transparent, participatory mechanisms need to be created which acknowledge, and seek to rectify, existing imbalances in power relations in policy-making processes.
Community food organisations are part of a growing interest in local and alternative forms of food, which have widely been understood as a response to the failings of the dominant food system. Despite significant academic interest, few studies have sought to understand these alternatives from the perspective of well-being, although they are grounded in claims for a better food system. In this thesis I address this gap. In order to do so I draw on Marx’s concept of alienation as the basis for understanding how well-being is constituted in four community food organisations in the East of England. In using a Marxist approach to well-being I seek to overcome the limitations of narrow, individualised conceptions of well-being that have predominated a resurgent discourse around well-being. Renewed interest in well-being and alternative food systems can be seen as reactions to the dominant logic of capital, which has prioritised economic growth and profit at the expense of human and planetary well-being. However, these potentially critical discourses have proved vulnerable to re-absorption by capital. I use Marx’s concept of alienation to bring together critique of capitalism with an understanding of community food organisations as alternative spaces of production, which enhance well-being. Both classical and recent Marxian approaches have tended to emphasize critique, with little attention to the subjective experience of capitalism or alternatives to it. Drawing on alienation to inform a Marxian approach to well-being I unite structural critique with subjective experience. I use ethnographic and qualitative methods to document participation in community food organisations as an alternative, de-alienated experience. The data generated points to the important role these spaces can play in supporting well-being. It underlines how they facilitate social interaction, an active relationship with nature, and provide an opportunity for participants to realise a sense of agency and engage in meaningful work.
This thesis examines the enduring problem of food insecurity in Africa, with a particular focus on Ethiopia and Kenya. It considers food insecurity both in acute terms - the occurrence of famine and chronic terms - famine vulnerability. More specifically it provides a new interpre~tion of the causes of food insecurity in East Africa, with respect to some of the causal factors and viable solutions. It does so by locating the occurrence of famine, and countries vulnerability to it, in the context of the global food system. The global food system is, as yet, an under-examined factor in contemporary famine analysis, particularly in East Africa and this thesis aims to explore it more comprehensively than hitherto. This thesis also makes a substantive contribution to understanding the concept of Food Sovereignty in an African context. Food Sovereignty deserves to be a more significant part of contemporary narratives that at present dominate the political and social dilemmas about food insecurity. However there are serious obstacles such as political relationships, land tenure and the industrial system of agriculture that hinder the development of Food Sovereignty as a viable option. Natural disasters, demographic pressures and ill conceived economic policies are an ongoing part of the story but in essence food insecurity is ultimately political. This thesis concludes that Food Sovereignty should be explored as a political . solution to a political problem.
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