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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Geislar, Sally;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Urban food waste in the U.S. is almost exclusively bound for landfills, with significant environmental and the economic consequences. Contrary to this linear flow, cities across the developed world are implementing organics collection programs (OCP) that transform waste into a resource. These systems convert excess food into inputs (e.g. biofuel or soil amendment) for other processes (i.e. food and energy production, water reclamation) thereby approximating naturally occurring closed-loop nutrient systems. However, efforts to address the flow of food waste into landfills have largely focused on technical solutions that alter the waste management systems of provision, largely ignoring the social aspects of food waste generation and source separation. Drawing on the Theory of Planned Behavior and concepts from social marketing research, results from longitudinal repeated-measures experiments indicate that providing supportive infrastructure is necessary for residents to act on their "intention" to divert food waste from landfills. The experiments are also the first to confirm that communicating the new community norms of separation in the context of a new OCP will increase separation behavior. In sum, closing the loop on urban food systems demands transformations of the systems of provision as well as the social aspects of waste systems. This research traces the evolution of organic waste policy on two continents using problem-framing as a lens through which to understand how different characterizations of food waste as a problem (i.e. as one of disposal efficiency, risk management or value recovery) result in different policy responses with varying degrees of linearity in urban food material flows. This dissertation contends that successfully closing the loop on urban food systems will demand new problem-framing that employs systems-thinking at the highest levels of policy-making, transformations of both the systems of provision and social practices, and an understanding of the relationship between social and natural systems (i.e. socio-ecological relationships).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dana Boyer; J. Sarkar; Anu Ramaswami;
    Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)

    Abstract With ever‐growing populations, cities are increasingly interested in ensuring a well‐functioning food system. However, knowledge of variation between individual city food systems is limited. This is particularly true in countries such as India, experiencing significant issues related to food security and sustainability. This paper advances the understanding of urban food systems, by analyzing the unique food systems of nine cities within India, through the integration of multiple city‐specific data sources including demand of residents, visitors and industries, and commodity‐specific supply chains to assess nutrition, environmental impact, and supply risk. This work finds a large degree of intercity food system variability across multiple food system characteristics. Specifically, levels of undernutrition vary, with the percentage of city populations who are underconsuming protein ranging from 0% to 70%, and for calories 0% to 90%. Environmental impacts (consumptive water loss, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions) of urban food demand also show variation, largely influenced by differing composition of residential diet. Greenhouse gas emissions are also largely influenced by location of production and spatially informed energy intensity of irrigation. Supply chain distance (“food‐miles”) also vary by city, with the range of 196 (Pondicherry) to 1,137 (Chennai) km/Mg—shorter than more industrialized nations such as the United States. Evaluating supply chain risk in terms of water scarcity in food‐producing regions that serve city demand finds production locations, on average, to be less water‐scarce than the watersheds local to the urban environments. This suggests water‐intensive agriculture may at times be best located at a distance from urban centers and competing demands.

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Advanced search in Research products
Research products
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Searching FieldsTerms
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Include:
The following results are related to Transport Research. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
2 Research products, page 1 of 1
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Geislar, Sally;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Urban food waste in the U.S. is almost exclusively bound for landfills, with significant environmental and the economic consequences. Contrary to this linear flow, cities across the developed world are implementing organics collection programs (OCP) that transform waste into a resource. These systems convert excess food into inputs (e.g. biofuel or soil amendment) for other processes (i.e. food and energy production, water reclamation) thereby approximating naturally occurring closed-loop nutrient systems. However, efforts to address the flow of food waste into landfills have largely focused on technical solutions that alter the waste management systems of provision, largely ignoring the social aspects of food waste generation and source separation. Drawing on the Theory of Planned Behavior and concepts from social marketing research, results from longitudinal repeated-measures experiments indicate that providing supportive infrastructure is necessary for residents to act on their "intention" to divert food waste from landfills. The experiments are also the first to confirm that communicating the new community norms of separation in the context of a new OCP will increase separation behavior. In sum, closing the loop on urban food systems demands transformations of the systems of provision as well as the social aspects of waste systems. This research traces the evolution of organic waste policy on two continents using problem-framing as a lens through which to understand how different characterizations of food waste as a problem (i.e. as one of disposal efficiency, risk management or value recovery) result in different policy responses with varying degrees of linearity in urban food material flows. This dissertation contends that successfully closing the loop on urban food systems will demand new problem-framing that employs systems-thinking at the highest levels of policy-making, transformations of both the systems of provision and social practices, and an understanding of the relationship between social and natural systems (i.e. socio-ecological relationships).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dana Boyer; J. Sarkar; Anu Ramaswami;
    Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)

    Abstract With ever‐growing populations, cities are increasingly interested in ensuring a well‐functioning food system. However, knowledge of variation between individual city food systems is limited. This is particularly true in countries such as India, experiencing significant issues related to food security and sustainability. This paper advances the understanding of urban food systems, by analyzing the unique food systems of nine cities within India, through the integration of multiple city‐specific data sources including demand of residents, visitors and industries, and commodity‐specific supply chains to assess nutrition, environmental impact, and supply risk. This work finds a large degree of intercity food system variability across multiple food system characteristics. Specifically, levels of undernutrition vary, with the percentage of city populations who are underconsuming protein ranging from 0% to 70%, and for calories 0% to 90%. Environmental impacts (consumptive water loss, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions) of urban food demand also show variation, largely influenced by differing composition of residential diet. Greenhouse gas emissions are also largely influenced by location of production and spatially informed energy intensity of irrigation. Supply chain distance (“food‐miles”) also vary by city, with the range of 196 (Pondicherry) to 1,137 (Chennai) km/Mg—shorter than more industrialized nations such as the United States. Evaluating supply chain risk in terms of water scarcity in food‐producing regions that serve city demand finds production locations, on average, to be less water‐scarce than the watersheds local to the urban environments. This suggests water‐intensive agriculture may at times be best located at a distance from urban centers and competing demands.

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