This past Wednesday, February 23rd, the M.A Food Studies students had the opportunity to engage in conversation with Dr. Barbara Pancino, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy in the Department of Economics, Engineering, Society and Business Organizations at Tuscia University (Viterbo, Italy). Dr. Pancino is currently studying the economics and policy incentives for food waste prevention and reduction within the EU food chain.
In her presentation, Dr. Pancino discussed the growing food waste problem in the European Union, where 89 million tons of food are wasted every year, 53% of which comes from households. The European Commission has promoted various calls to action to minimize waste in every step of the chain. Various methods and technology options are available to combat food waste along the Food Waste Prevention Pyramid. Policies can play an important role. However, Dr. Pancino presented the results from her ongoing research work showing that only two out of 27 EU countries have implemented food waste policies through national legislation. An example of such policies is the use of data to monitor how much waste is collected at a household level. Dr. Pancino encouraged the students to consider food-waste at a retail and household level in future consumption.
- Emily A. Solomon, Graduate Student Assistant