Critical food guidance for tackling food waste in Canada
A closed-loop food system alternative to the food recovery hierarchy approach
Keywords:food waste, social innovation, food recovery hierarchy, closed loop, food guidance
Food waste is a complex problem with far reaching negative environmental, social, and economic impacts. To identify appropriate solutions to address food waste, the food recovery hierarchy developed by the Environmental Protection Agency is currently the most popular guiding framework in food waste prevention and reduction. However, this paper found that the application and the interpretation of the guide is quite problematic due to its lack of consideration of scale in efforts to prevent and reduce food loss and waste. Furthermore, the food recovery hierarchy is premised on a linear food supply chain instead of a circular approach. Although the hierarchy recommends prevention as the most preferred approach, it still provides the option (albeit less preferred) to landfill food waste. Based on values and worldviews that potentially serve as better tools for food waste prevention and reduction, this paper explores the tensions within the food recovery hierarchy framework and identifies alternative critical food guidance developed in a Canadian social innovation lab.
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