Food waste: does agreement conceal ambiguity?

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningfagfællebedømt


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In 2011, FAO put the subject of food waste on the public agenda with calls for political action. Perhaps not surprisingly, in a context of almost a billion people living with hunger as a daily condition, and a global food production challenged by e.g. the climate crisis, it is a subject which citizens, NGOs and politicians have been able to unite about all over the world, Food waste is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (Target 12.3) urging to reduce food losses along the production and supply chains. However, the widespread agreement on combatting food waste might be concealing important ambiguities and profound ethical disagreements. Whereas ‘waste’ per definition seems bad, there is no common understanding of what should be considered ‘food waste’. We examine if definitions of food waste should include (some forms of ) animal feed and animal products. The environmental impact of animal production and consumption is increasingly coming under public and political scrutiny, not least in the light of reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement from 2015. We consider arguments for and against understanding animal products based on either animal feed – that could have been used for human consumption – or animal products based on feed grown on land that could have been used to grow plants for human consumption as so-called ‘avoidable indirect food waste’ from a consequentialist and a virtue oriented perspective.
TitelTransforming food systems : ethics, innovation and responsibility
RedaktørerDonald Bruce, Ann Bruce
Antal sider6
ForlagWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Trykt)978-90-8686-387-7
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-90-8686-939-8
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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