Master thesis research proposal: How do daily household practices affect food wastage? Empirical insights from 100 Dutch households in the context of the 100 100 100 campaign

Title page

  • Name: Robert Orzanna

  • Title: How do daily household practices affect food wastage? Empirical insights from 100 Dutch households in the context of the 100 100 100 campaign

  • Contact: r.orzanna@students.uu.nl

  • Supervisor: Prof. dr. Ernst Worrell

  • 2^nd reader: dr. ir. Wina Crijns-Graus

Introduction

Societal background or problem

Globally, about one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, equalling an estimated amount of 1.3 billion tons per year (Gustavsson et al., 2011). The differences between regions are enormous. In Europe and North America consumers waste around 95-115 kg/year, compared to only 6-11 kg/year in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia. These are the results of a study commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to raise awareness on the dramatic evidence of inefficient food utilisation. Not only does food wastage pose an ethical dilemma for people suffering from hunger and malnutrition, it also has significant environmental implications. Food that is doomed to be wasted has been grown without use, thus contributing to unnecessary use of fertile land, water for irrigation, and energy for agricultural production and transport, as well as for waste collection and treatment.

Scientific background and previous studies

In acknowledgement of the problem, many countries have tackled the challenge to significantly reduce food wastage in the upcoming years. Likewise, the European Commission has announced 2014 as the year against food waste. In the Netherlands, the government aims at reducing food wastage by 20% in 2015 (Ministerie van Landbouw, 2010). However, as two comparable studies from 2010 and 2013 have shown, on a household level there was no significant reduction in food wastage. In comparison to 48kg of the avoidable fraction that had been thrown away in 2010, in 2013 the avoidable fraction still amounted to 47kg per year (van Westerhoven, 2013; van Westerhoven, 2010).

\label{literature-review}

Identification of the gap in literature

The aforementioned studies estimated the amount of household