Taking a Bite Out of Consumer Food Waste in Des Moines, Iowa
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In America, 40% of the food produced is ultimately thrown away, which is economically and environmentally detrimental. Our essay outlines the issue from a national standpoint to the local level, providing an examination of programs developed in other cities across the nation and the current programs in Des Moines that combat the food waste problem. This research reveals that there is a lack of education provided for the primary producers of food waste: individual consumers. We conducted a survey on 200 residents of the Des Moines metro area and found that this demographic would like more information on Use By and Sell By dates, as well as proper food storage for a variety of foods. Based on these results, we have developed some simple educational materials that can be easily distributed through existing organizations to educate the consumers on the topics they are curious about. Combating food waste needs to be a community activity, requiring participation and cooperation from an array of organizations. As such, we have developed a sample proposal that will be used by Next Course, a Food Recovery Network organization, to create partnerships with restaurants and grocery stores in the fight against food waste in Des Moines.
Capstone paper from 2015 spring MPA program. Instructed by Allen Zagoren.