I'm back again to update you on the Food Waste and Insecurity VIP project that I am involved with. My previous blog gave a little run down of the basics and mechanics of what a VIP is.
In this piece, I will update you on the progress that we've made and our plans going forward.
As I mentioned before, I am in the group looking at student behaviours. Our aim is to find out about students food habits and understand the reasons that food is being wasted. To do this we have been working on a survey to distribute to all students using software called Qualtrics.
We have mostly been agreeing on questions and arranging the formalities such as completing an ethics application. We've also been discussing how we can promote the survey and how to achieve a diverse range of respondents. This is more or less finalised so the survey will be coming your way soon (we hope!).
We have also managed to secure our own email address and have changed our name to Students for Sustainable Food.
We have finalised our survey and have started to circulate to students at the University. You can access the survey here. It would be great if you could spare 2 mins to fill in the survey as we want to hear from as many students as possible to identify student behaviours towards food waste as we develop ideas and plans to reduce waste!
After we have received a strong amount of respondents, we will analyse the responses to identify trends, unexpected findings and so on.
Our next steps after this depend partially on what we find but the plan is to organise a series of food diaries and focus groups to work with students to come up with solutions to food waste.
Working on this project has pushed me into looking more into food waste and its importance. As I've mentioned before, food waste is often overlooked in debates about climate change which encouraged me to organise a seminar to 'celebrate' Food Waste Action Week. This involved Matt Homewood, a food waste campaigner in Denmark, Duncan Milwain from The Real Junk Food Project, and Mehrnaz Tajmir, a PHD student at the Uni of Bath and was a fascinating event.
I've also got involved with The Real Junk Food Project who focus on intercepting food waste and redistributing some of it - they have several 'pay as you feel' cafes which, as you can guess, redistribute initially wasted food to people who can pay however much they want, or through volunteering. You can read more about TRJFP here .