Assessing Household Food Waste in Italy: A Methodology for Detecting Drivers and Quantities

Giordano, Claudia (2016) Assessing Household Food Waste in Italy: A Methodology for Detecting Drivers and Quantities, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 28 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7567.
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It has been estimated that one third of edible food destined for human consumption is lost or wasted along the food supply chain globally. Much of the waste comes from Global North, where consumers are considered as the bigger contributors. Different studies tried to analyze and estimate the Household Food Waste (HFW), especially in UK and Northern Europe. The result is that accurate studies at national level exist only in UK, Finland and Norway while no such studies are available in Italy, except for survey- based researches. Though, there is a widespread awareness that such methods might be not able to estimate Food Waste. Results emerging from literature clearly suggest that survey estimate inferior amounts of Food Waste as a result, if compared to waste sorting and weighting analysis or to diary studies. The hypothesis that household food waste is under-estimated when gathered through questionnaires has been enquired into. First, a literature review of behavioral economics and heuristics has been proposed; then, a literature review of the sector listing the existing methodologies to gather national data on Household Food Waste has been illustrated. Finally, a pilot experiment to test a mixed methodology is proposed. While literature suggests that four specific cognitive biases might be able to affect the reliability of answers in questionnaires, results of the present experiment clearly indicate that there is a relevant difference between how much the individual thinks to waste and he/she actually does. The result is a mixed methodology based on questionnaire, diary and waste sorting, able to overcome the cons of each single method.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Giordano, Claudia
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Food Waste, Household Food Waste, Food Diary, Waste sorting, questionnaires, cognitive bias
Data di discussione
14 Giugno 2016

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