Transforming Food Waste into a Resource Authors: Andrea Segre, Silvia Gaiani

About this book

An estimated 50% of the food produced worldwide is wasted. If the entire world had the same voracious appetite as Europeans, it would take three planets to produce the amount demanded.

In Britain, 18 million tonnes (14 billion pounds worth) of perfectly edible household food is thrown away every year. Apart from the waste, overeating is becoming a serious public health issue in many countries. According to a U.S. study, Western countries are consuming an average daily surplus of 1400 calories per person.

This easy to read manual on overproduction and overconsumption in contemporary society highlights some alarming global data. It discusses the origins and causes of food waste and its correlation with climate change, agriculture, population growth, and the need for a more ethical, ecological society. The complexity of the waste dynamic processes imposes a dire need to reconsider economic relationships and social values in the light of sustainability and eco-efficiency.

After a foreword by Vandana Shiva , the first two chapters describe the current imbalanced global food market. The book then goes on to present projects from around the world that are aimed at finding practical and efficient solutions to food waste. Particular emphasis is placed on Last Minute Market. This initiative links shops and producers with unsold food to people, and charities, in need. Originated at the University of Bologna Faculty of Agriculture, the project offers economic, environmental and social benefits. Alongside other European initiatives, it has contributed to a greener economy and a more sustainable world. Based on the data, and on the initiatives presented, the conclusion is devoted to the idea of a "new intelligent ecology".

Book content

  • The R(evolution) in Global Food Production and Consumption
  • Why Food Waste is Everywhere
  • Food Waste in Food Policies and Legislation: a Controversial Issue
  • Food Waste Prevention and Reduction: Why It Is Imperative
  • Food Recovery Programmes-Don't Let Food Waste Be Wasted
  • Last Minute Market-a 360° Action against (Food) Waste
  • Epilogue - or Ode to Sufficiency, Transparency and Efficiency
  • Subject Index
This book is print only

Buy paperback £24.99 *
* Exclusive of taxes
This book contains 279 pages.

Publication details

Print publication date
19 Oct 2011
Copyright year
Print ISBN

Author information

Andrea Segrè is a Professor, Economist and Agronomist. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Bologna and Cornell University and a Masters Degree in Politiques Agricoles et Administration du Développement from the Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier in France. He is currently Dean and Professor of Comparative and International Agricultural Policy and Policies for Agricultural Development at the University of Bologna Faculty of Agriculture. He has published over 200 articles on food policy and the correlation between food waste, distribution, trade, and ethics.  

Professor Segrè is also President of Last Minute Market, an academic spin-off from the University of Bologna which provides innovative services for the recovery and reuse of unsold food and goods. In 2010, he promoted the initiative "One Year Against Waste" sponsored by the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

Silvia Gaiani holds a Masters Degree in International Relations and a PhD in International Cooperation and Policies for Sustainable Development from the University of Bologna, Italy. She is currently a Researcher in Agricultural Economics at the University of Bologna Faculty of Agriculture. Dr Gaiani has also conducted applied research in Europe and Asia focusing on food policies and the environmental and socio-economic impact of food waste. She also works as a consultant for the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations.