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A qualitative approach to food loss. The case of the production of fruit in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain)

A qualitative approach to food loss. The case of the production of fruit in Lleida (Catalonia,... Conventional definitions of food loss and food waste consider that the phenomenon can be measured with mass or monetary units. However, the problem is that it is not easy to establish what a discarded foodstuff is. Furthermore, these definitions do not incorporate in their analyses the loss of productive resources. From political ecology and agroecology, other alternative definitions consider that the calculation should be done in terms of energy. This would allow us to include the loss of productive resources in the phenomenon. However, since the counting tools generated by the agrarian economy reduce any economic activity to mass or monetary units, these alternative definitions face a problem of quantification to a greater extent. Consequently, there is currently an open debate about what constitutes food loss; a debate that is not reaching any helpful outcome. In light of these limitations, a qualitative approach to the phenomenon can be more practical. Based on our analysis of food loss in the context of fruit production in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain) we argue that to understand the phenomenon it is more effective to analyze how food loss is produced rather than to try to quantify it. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Taylor & Francis

A qualitative approach to food loss. The case of the production of fruit in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain)

A qualitative approach to food loss. The case of the production of fruit in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain)

Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems , Volume 46 (5): 22 – May 28, 2022

Abstract

Conventional definitions of food loss and food waste consider that the phenomenon can be measured with mass or monetary units. However, the problem is that it is not easy to establish what a discarded foodstuff is. Furthermore, these definitions do not incorporate in their analyses the loss of productive resources. From political ecology and agroecology, other alternative definitions consider that the calculation should be done in terms of energy. This would allow us to include the loss of productive resources in the phenomenon. However, since the counting tools generated by the agrarian economy reduce any economic activity to mass or monetary units, these alternative definitions face a problem of quantification to a greater extent. Consequently, there is currently an open debate about what constitutes food loss; a debate that is not reaching any helpful outcome. In light of these limitations, a qualitative approach to the phenomenon can be more practical. Based on our analysis of food loss in the context of fruit production in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain) we argue that to understand the phenomenon it is more effective to analyze how food loss is produced rather than to try to quantify it.

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References (73)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2022 Taylor & Francis
ISSN
1540-7578
eISSN
1044-0046
DOI
10.1080/21683565.2022.2061099
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Conventional definitions of food loss and food waste consider that the phenomenon can be measured with mass or monetary units. However, the problem is that it is not easy to establish what a discarded foodstuff is. Furthermore, these definitions do not incorporate in their analyses the loss of productive resources. From political ecology and agroecology, other alternative definitions consider that the calculation should be done in terms of energy. This would allow us to include the loss of productive resources in the phenomenon. However, since the counting tools generated by the agrarian economy reduce any economic activity to mass or monetary units, these alternative definitions face a problem of quantification to a greater extent. Consequently, there is currently an open debate about what constitutes food loss; a debate that is not reaching any helpful outcome. In light of these limitations, a qualitative approach to the phenomenon can be more practical. Based on our analysis of food loss in the context of fruit production in Lleida (Catalonia, Spain) we argue that to understand the phenomenon it is more effective to analyze how food loss is produced rather than to try to quantify it.

Journal

Agroecology and Sustainable Food SystemsTaylor & Francis

Published: May 28, 2022

Keywords: Food loss; food waste; quality requirements; prices; varietal change; political ecology

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