Food waste: Is it a sign of affluence or simply a gradual 'deprioritisation' of food?

Document Type


Publication Title

Victorian Journal of Home Economics


Home Economics Victoria


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Sambell, R., Miller, M., & Devine, A. (2017). Food waste: Is it a sign of affluence or simply a gradual 'deprioritisation' of food?. Victorian Journal of Home Economics, 56(2), 2-10.


Food waste is under more scrutiny as a result of climate change, projected population growth and sustainability questions including future needs and equitable solutions for global food security. It is now an integral part of government agendas and action to reduce it is promoted globally by the Sustainable Development Goals. There is evidence that in developed countries, consumer and retail food wastage is significant. Consumer education is seen as an integral part of a systematic approach to reduce food waste. School communities play a pivotal role in the creation of a food waste reduction culture, through policies and practices, active engagement and curriculum. Current Australian Curriculum strands and the Sustainability cross-curriculum priority provide multiple opportunities at different year levels to explore the implications and impacts on food waste of consumer decisions about food purchases, consumption and disposal. The topic can provide an engaging focus to develop the analytical, measurement and persuasive knowledge and skills needed in these learning areas. Home economics teachers are in a privileged position to apply these topics to educate young Australians, thus building the capacity of our future thinkers to reduce food waste and support a more sustainable food future

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