Food Wastage Behavior of Consumers in UMD

The secondary sources will be used in order to define problem and establish its scope and the sources were categorized in terms of methodologies used and the issues addresses (e.g. food choice, handling, disposal). In order to find a solution to the problem, I will focus on conducting the study with both secondary and primary research on consumer behavior regarding food waste. Moreover, the combination of quantitative surveys, experiment and qualitative research will be undertaken to clarify how certain cultural aspects affect food waste. Thus, it will give an overview of the required information to understand the issue of this paper. There are two primary researches that I will need to conduct are interviews and observation.

Interviews and observations rationale: Interviews can give best estimates or expert judgment of how food is produced and wasted in UMD dining hall. An interview can be conducted by using questionnaire face to face between two people and it will be used in combination with other approaches in order to have both quantitative (amount) and qualitative (how often is food wasted, and who is wasting food etc) estimation of food waste. One of the experts who will be interviewed is Allision Tjaden. Tjaden is an assistant director at UMD’s dining service. She deals with waste audits at UMD, thus she would help me with my research and be able to look at different waste audits and provide the information about how much the weekly cost food at Dining service.

Ben Simon is another expert that I will interview. Simon is the founder of Food Recovery Network who creates this program in order to deal food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food from UMD campuses and donating it to whom in need. He would help me understand more about how this program has developed so far and what struggles they are still dealing with. Additionally, UMD students will be also interviewed regarding their knowledge of food waste in general. Here are some interview example questions:

  1. Are you aware of food waste at UMD?
  2. Where do you think most of the food is wasted?
  3. Are you aware of the environmental consequences of food waste?
  4. Do you see food waste as a problem?
  5. Are you personally concerned about the reduction of food waste?
  6. Would you like to be actively involved in it?
  7. Do you see the reduction of food waste as something that you could personally contribute to whom in need?

The observation experiment will be conducted in the Dining hall, and the Stamp. Research observation was observed over a considerable period of at lease one semester, preferably an entire academic year. This will result in the most accurate, consistent measurement of average consumption per person. Regarding the topic, this study will look more specifically at consumer perceptions and behavior in food service or with regard to disposal. Moreover, the observation experiment can be carried out to get more insight about factors involved in how consumers manage, understand, feel and act in relation to food waste.

The secondary and primary data will be analyzed to evaluate the problem. The secondary data can be collected from different online sources such as “”Food scraps Management””, “”The environmental Impact of Food waste””, and “”Development and Evaluation of a University Campus”” and primary data can be collected from observation and interview questions. The first article in the list will help me to establish background knowledge about the issue especially in the state of Maryland. The second article helps to me establish connections between the issues and its environmental impacts. For the last article, it helps me to link the issue between general Maryland populations to a smaller community, University of Maryland. It guides me to learn about the current implementations at the school, and areas that could be improved. Furthermore, data collected from interviews will help me to establish a more detailed review of the issue. The researcher will narrow the data based on observations and interviews of experts and the UMD community as a whole.

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