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date: 21 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an overview of both the empirical literature on food waste and philosophical work on the concept of waste. The chapter uses this background to argue that an overemphasis on responsibility for the reduction of individual food waste is misleading at best, and pernicious at worst, in combating the substantial problems that global food waste creates and exacerbates, including increased carbon emissions and hunger. While there would be benefits to widespread changes in individual habits surrounding food waste, they would be modest at best. Rather, civic engagement and political activism aimed at institutional reform that embeds concern with food waste in a broader fight for environmentally friendly policies should be prioritized in addressing these problems.

Keywords: food waste, emissions, hunger, civic engagement, political activism, institutional reform, responsibility

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