Waste management as foodwork: A feminist food studies approach to household food waste
Food waste in Canada is estimated to amount to $31 billion per year, with approximately half of this waste occurring in households (Gooch & Felfel, 2014). However, household food waste studies remain underrepresented in the literature, particularly in a Canadian context. This paper calls on feminist food scholars to contribute to this gap by incorporating food waste analyses into their food research. This study uses a photovoice methodology and feminist analytical perspectives to investigate the moment when food became “waste” in 22 households in Guelph, Ontario. Findings suggest that food waste production is representative of forms of foodwork (DeVault, 1991), and that attention to food wasting reveals embodied knowledges of food and interactions with the food system. We contend that scholars and those concerned with household waste reduction should examine and consider how the responsibility for food waste management has been constructed to fall along gendered lines. The intersection of these findings with ongoing research in feminist food scholarship reveals that feminist food scholars are well placed to contribute to food waste studies.