Food Waste and Social Practices in Australian Households
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Food waste is a critical sustainability issue, and the solutions, particularly in middle- to high-income countries, lie in shifting practices within households. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the research in an Australian context, provide insights from a social practice theory approach and understand the influence of growing your own food to waste production. The research is based on respondents completing a two-week food diary documenting food acquisition and disposal and then undertaking a survey on their food practices and attitudes to waste. This study finds that the preparation of meals and storage practices are critical towards the production of food waste. These practices can be shifted by focusing on upskilling and the introduction of new materiality or technologies. The acquisition of food is also a pivotal practice in which to intervene in order to reduce waste in other food practices in the household. Interventions, such as growing your own food, are recommended to shift food practices to reduce an output of waste to landfill. The research is limited by its reliance on self-reported data for food waste. However, the focus on social practices in food waste is novel in an Australian context.
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