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Food Waste Workshop Outcomes 3, Sustainable Cities Round Tables, 24 September 2008

Posted in Sustainable Cities Round Tables by Ferne Edwards on October 27th, 2008

A Food Waste Workshop was held at the Sustainable Cities Round Table – Waste Not Want Not, 24 September 2008. Three key organisations redistribute food that is still edible to people in need: SecondBite, FareShare (previously One Umbrella) and VicRelief Foodbank. Participants at the Sustainable Cities Round Table received a five minute explanation of the key issues of the growing food waste issue that links to poverty, hunger and urban environmental issues, and then worked together in small teams to answer the following four questions.

1. Can you think of ways to help better manage these issues of food waste redistribution
2. Can you think of opportunities that could occur across the city system? ie. in terms of transport, water, urban planning, etc
3. Can you think of ways to reduce the amount of food that is generated further up the chain
4. Can you think of new opportunities or businesses that could emerge from the topics mentioned above?

The responses from the third question are listed below.

Key issues:
1. Awareness – that food rescue agencies exist and have the capacity to collect surplus food, so we can start making a dint on the amount of good quality nutritious food that goes to waste.
2. Funding – the cost to run our organisation is increasing, and will continue to do so. This is of vital importance as we begin to tackle to problem on a much larger scale. Collaboration, information sharing and pooling of resources will be key in addressing this.
3. Logistics – Not so much a problem but an area that will need a lot of focus (money!) and collaboration as we implement statewide strategies, incorporating multiple agencies and both internal and external logistics companies.

3. Can you think of ways to reduce the amount of food that is generated further up the chain?
Impart training to restaurants/chefs etc. to design/devise energy efficient recipes which can be easily adapted even in households
Change farmer contract –overproduction of crops
Eating seasonally
Restaurants (less over supplying, reduced portion, better storage)
Cultural change (what people think is acceptable to buy ie. blemishes on fruit/veg)

More urban garden spaces
Edible plants in common spaces
Encourage people to eat seasonal foods to reduce storage
People growing their own food
Shopping more regularly – at farmers markets, from local growers
Eliminate fast food single serve culture
Supply to demand
Promote research information about food to the public
Localised distribution and production
Better nutrition education
Tax waste
Analyse food demand over time/space
Fair prices to farmers to stop over-production
Better home economics education
Drawing o the experiences of the elderly in pursuing on low-waste food supply
Recipe books for “scraps” older less fresh food
Rooftop hydroponics
Vertical/rooftop garden
How to establish export markets for our excess produce
Macro/international food exchange program, ie. exchange wheat for rice with rice producing countries
Revisit health regulations –make standards less strict to enable food to be better utilised
Feed stale bread to “geese” not throw out or educate raise awareness so people dont expect fresh bread every day
Educate new waste managed everywhere
Introduce waste sorting in organisations and worm farm on site
Buy food more frequently to reduce energy demand of storage fridge
Identify and target most wasted food
Alternatives to supermarket shopping ie. farmer to your door
Instead of ploughing farm products back into the land, have produce that could not be sold to be collected by fare share, second bite, etc

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