Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Wasted: Exploring Food Citizenship as a Form of Urban Resilience. A case study of food waste perceptions and practices in The Hague.

How do different communities of residents in The Hague perceive and manage food waste in relation to citizenship (rights and responsibilities)?

2018 - 2019
Min Cho
The Hague municipality - Central Innovation District’s (CID) Knowledge Lab

Community Partnerships: Delft University of Technology, Compost Bakkers, British School of the Netherlands Junior School Diamanthorst, De Vuurvlinder, BZH Library

Reducing global food waste by half is an important target under the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. The Dutch government has adopted this goal to be realized by 2030. In the Netherlands, food waste costs €150 per person per year, and amounts to ca. 2 billion kg yearly to which end-consumers (households) contribute about a third (Netherlands Nutritional Committee).  This compels us to understand people’s perception and everyday management of food waste; where food waste is considered as much about food as it is about their edible and non-edible food waste. It is also an expression of identities, prosperity, social and ecological rights and responsibilities.

Knowing more about how different communities perceive and practice food waste can better inform food waste management adding social and ecological sustainability value and resilience for all.  Exploring how people perceive and manage food waste, this research focuses on the diverse population of Bezuidenhout, The Hague. For this study, a mixed methods research design is employed to examine people’s perceptions, revealing the construction of meaning regarding sustainability in relation to daily food waste. The methods used to collect data include- 1) Cross-sectional survey, 2) Photovoice, and 3) Focus groups.  

This research project brings a broad interdisciplinary expertise specifically in mixed method research design and biomedical waste (Min J Cho), qualitative methods and policy (Jyothi Thrivikraman:), sustainable development and mixed research methods (Annie Trevenen-Jones)  and qualitative methods and citizenship studies (Daniela Vicherat Mattar). The research activities at Leiden University College (LUC) span the spectrum of academic interests associated with liberal arts and sciences, and its themes cross various disciplinary boundaries. The interdisciplinary focus of our project brings together individuals with specialist knowledge and skills in the field of sustainability, public health, circular economy, anthropology, ethics, and sociology. All perspectives included in LUC's Global Challenge Programme of FGGA.

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