Title

Mitigating the Global Issue of Food Waste through Children’s Literature

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Food waste is a global problem that can be greatly reduced through awareness and education. Our group created an illustrated children’s book focusing on three main problems seen in global and domestic food waste. We focused on children ages six through eight and structured our book to meet the age group’s needs by providing engaging and relatable characters accompanied by text that effectively conveys the problem of consumer food waste. Our research suggested this age range would understand the content without oversimplification and would still benefit and be interested in an illustrated book. A children’s book provides a tangible and reoccurring lesson. In Missoula, there are several different programs for school-aged children regarding sustainability, but input from the community suggested a book on food waste would help fill a gap in the available literature. Currently, food waste is more commonly taught at an older age level, or not at all. Our approach presents young readers with a problem that inspires empathy, followed by solutions they can implement in their own homes. For example, children can look at sell by dates, understand food is not always bad if it does not look perfect or have an understanding of when food is actually rotten. Our goal is to raise awareness and interest in food waste and encourage behavioral change at an early age. This approach is successful in other areas of literature, but has not been tried with food waste. We believe this format will be an effective way to address the gap in the literature, and address the problem of apathy at an early age. Although, the environmental implications of food waste are global, the solution starts locally with individual action at the consumer level. If we can change simple behaviors in childhood, the impact will begin to spread globally.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 15th, 2:00 PM Apr 15th, 2:20 PM

Mitigating the Global Issue of Food Waste through Children’s Literature

Food waste is a global problem that can be greatly reduced through awareness and education. Our group created an illustrated children’s book focusing on three main problems seen in global and domestic food waste. We focused on children ages six through eight and structured our book to meet the age group’s needs by providing engaging and relatable characters accompanied by text that effectively conveys the problem of consumer food waste. Our research suggested this age range would understand the content without oversimplification and would still benefit and be interested in an illustrated book. A children’s book provides a tangible and reoccurring lesson. In Missoula, there are several different programs for school-aged children regarding sustainability, but input from the community suggested a book on food waste would help fill a gap in the available literature. Currently, food waste is more commonly taught at an older age level, or not at all. Our approach presents young readers with a problem that inspires empathy, followed by solutions they can implement in their own homes. For example, children can look at sell by dates, understand food is not always bad if it does not look perfect or have an understanding of when food is actually rotten. Our goal is to raise awareness and interest in food waste and encourage behavioral change at an early age. This approach is successful in other areas of literature, but has not been tried with food waste. We believe this format will be an effective way to address the gap in the literature, and address the problem of apathy at an early age. Although, the environmental implications of food waste are global, the solution starts locally with individual action at the consumer level. If we can change simple behaviors in childhood, the impact will begin to spread globally.