Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food Waste

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_426


Food spoils: for centuries the fight against food decay has been central to the survival of human civilizations. Protected storage facilities, brining, freezing, drying, refrigerating, and more recently canning and adding chemical preservatives: by all means humans have tried, and to a point succeeded, to preserve food and keep it from spoiling. Yet, in the twenty-first century, the world is divided between countries that are still struggling to keep their food reserves safe, where populations struggle with hunger, and countries that overproduce and throw away up to 50% of their agricultural production and whose populations struggle with overnutrition.

Current research on food waste, while growing, is still in a developing phase. A significant amount of applied research on the subject is targeted to the food industry, with the aim to reduce wastage during the production phases and control for damaging compounds in outgoing waste to limit pollution. In the last 10 years,...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SociologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA