Research Questions.

Those who generate food waste (consumers/businesses).

Food Waste.

In restaurants, grocery stores and at home.

While cooking meals, after a meal, when products expire, when products are not attractive.

Lack of resources and information, inconvenience.

By throwing out food when it is still consumable (leftovers from a restaurant, edible parts form produce not commonly considered edible, misshapen produce, products past their expiration date).

So What?
40% of perfectly edible food is not being consumed in the United States. 1/3 globally. There is enormous potential in these underutilized resources.

How does the dictionary define food waste?
Noun 1. food waste – food that is discarded (as from a kitchen)
garbage, refuse, scraps, waste, waste material, waste matter, waste product – any materials unused and rejected as worthless or unwanted; “they collect the waste once a week”; “much of the waste material is carried off in the sewers”
food waste. (n.d.) WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. (2003-2008). Retrieved September 12 2016 from

What is food waste similar to? In what ways?
Food waste is similar to many other environmental problems we face due to lack of information, convenience, and resources. Some of these are: carbon emissions, garbage accumulation, deforestation, etc.

What are the effects of food waste?
If has a couple of effects.
Environmental: Most think that it is harmless to trow food out since it is biodegradable. However, because we discard our trash in landfills, which are deprived of oxygen, rotting foods emit methane which is a greenhouse gas and bad for the ozone layer.
Social: With the amount of food we produce, everyone in the world should be eating a decent meal. However, that is not the way it is being distributed.
Farming industry: Tons of resources (water/energy) go into the production of food when a large amount of it goes to waste. 500.000.000 people can be served with water that is being thrown out in this process.

Are there any laws about food waste?
I found some interesting information about expiration dates. There are actually no laws that dictate that products at grocery stores should be marked with and expiration date label. The dates that are put on products are usually arbitrary.

Good samaritan act: protects people who donate food they deem to be in good shape.

What would prevent food waste from happening?
Educating people and making it convenient for them not to waste food.

Design Process Benchmark.
I found that the design process for Catapult Design, a San Fransisco based social design company, resonated with me:

Their process is divided into 4 main components, which are then broken down into other processes:

  1. Kickoff: Review project history and goals, define problem statement, co-create design brief, review roles, schedule & working protocol.
  2. Engage: Comprehend end-users, asses technical possibilities & competitive market, review program & policy, synthesize, reframe problem statement.
  3. Develop: Create concepts, prove concept, test with users and stakeholders, converge to focus, design review.
  4. Strategize: build vendor partnerships, create product architecture, plan for sourcing, field test, revise & review.

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