Revisit: Food Waste Management

by Elina N?rv?nen


Solving the Wicked Problem, Book to be edited by Elina N?rv?nen, Nina Mesiranta, Malla Mattila & Anna Heikkinen; Proposal deadline 28 Feb 2018

Call for Chapter Proposals
Proposal Submission Deadline: February 28, 2018

Food Waste Management: Solving the Wicked Problem
(Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan)

A book to be edited by Elina Närvänen, Nina Mesiranta, Malla Mattila & Anna Heikkinen
(University of Tampere, Faculty of Management, Finland)


Food waste has become a top priority in public and political debates. Researchers from various fields of the social sciences have approached the topic (see bibliography below for examples). The mystery that needs to be solved is pragmatic: what are the actual solutions in the everyday lives of consumers and organisations through which food waste can be managed

Objective of the book

Adopting a solution-focused orientation to explore the wicked problem of food waste, the book will provide valuable analysis and interpretations of concrete, research-based solutions to tackle the food waste issue at multiple levels. As a multidisciplinary endeavour, the book will combine innovative ideas from several scholars and offers novel research-based solutions to food waste reduction.

Target audience

This timely and scholarly book is ideal for educators, researchers, and students in many different fields including consumer research, business management, and political science. Due to its solution-focused orientation, the book is also relevant to professionals and practitioners working with the issue in public, private, or third sector organisations.


We welcome conceptual and empirical papers from various disciplines that address topics outlined under four different book sections as follows:

PART I – Consumer-citizens as food waste reducers

The papers included in the first section will focus on how food waste can be reduced or avoided at consumer level. This includes topics for papers related, but not limited to food provision, shopping, cooking, and disposition. The level of analysis can be individuals, communities, or practices.

PART II – Solving the food waste problem through networks

In this section, the focus of the chapters moves to a larger network of food waste. The proposals are expected provide insights about, but are not limited to, roles and responsibilities of several actors in the food system, and their connections to food waste reduction and prevention. We also invite papers that acknowledge the importance of the non-human.

PART III – Food waste as a socio-cultural issue

This section examines food waste as a socio-cultural issue. We invite papers focusing on, but not limited to, the discourses, framings, and meanings related to food waste and its reduction in society at large, such as in politics, media, and campaigns.

PART IV – Cases offood waste reduction

This section provides case studies that provide practical solutions to food waste reduction and prevention. They include, but are not limited to, business models creating value from food waste, best practices, and/or working models tackling the wicked problem of food waste.

Guidelines for proposal submission

A max. 1,000 word summary of a proposed chapter should be submitted by February 28, 2018. The proposals should be emailed to wastebustersfinland@gmail.com as Word document. Proposals should:

  • Clearly explain the topic, core objectives and expected contribution of the paper.
  • Outline relevant theoretical/methodological/managerial/social perspectives.
  • Suggest inclusion in one of the suggested book sections (part I–IV).
  • Include author(s) contact information, affiliation(s), and a short author bio(s).
  • Represent new and unpublished work.

Authors will be notified by March 21, 2018 about the proposal acceptance, including author guidelines for full chapter submission and a detailed timeline for the book publication process. Full chapters are expected to be 7,000–10,000 words (including references) and to be submitted by August 31, 2018. The book will be published in 2019.

All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Accepted authors may also serve as reviewers.

For any queries, please send email to wastebustersfinland@gmail.com.



Alexander, C., Gregson, N., & Gille, Z. (2013). Food waste. In A. Murcott, W. Belasco, & P. Jackson (Eds.) The handbook offood research (pp. 471–484). London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Aschemann-Witzel, J., de Hooge, I., Amani, P., Bech-Larsen, T., & Oostindjer, M. (2015). Consumer-related food waste: causes and potential for action. Sustainability, 7(6), 6457–6477.

Cappellini, B. (2009). The sacrice of re-use: the travels of leftovers and family relations. Journal ofConsumer Behaviour, 8(6), 365–375.

Ekström, K. M. (Ed.). (2015). Waste management and sustainable consumption. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Evans, D. (2011). Blaming the consumer – once again: The social and material contexts of everyday food waste practices in some English households. Critical Public Health, 21(4), 429–440.

Evans, D. (2012). Beyond the throwaway society: Ordinary domestic practice and a sociological approach to household food waste. Sociology, 46(1), 41–56.

Evans, D. (2017). Rethinking material cultures of sustainability: commodity consumption, cultural biographies and following the thing. Transaction ofthe Institute ofBritish Geographers. DOI: 10.1111/tran.12206.

Filimonau, V. & Gherbin, A. (2017). An exploratory study of food waste management practices in the UK grocery retail sector. Journal ofCleaner Production, 167, 1184–1194.

Garrone, P., Melacini, M., Perego, A. (2014). Opening the black box of food waste reduction. Food Policy, 46, 129–139.

Gollnhofer, J. F. (2017). Normalising alternative practices: the recovery, distribution and consumption of food waste. Journal ofMarketing Management, 33(7-8), 1–20.

Hetherington, K. (2004). Secondhandedness: Consumption, Disposal, and Absent Presence. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 22(1), 157–173.

Katajajuuri, J.M., Silvennoinen, K., Hartikainen, H., Heikkilä, L., & Reinikainen, A. (2014). Food waste in the Finnish food chain. Journal ofCleaner Production, 73, 322–329.

Närvänen, E., Mesiranta, N., & Hukkanen A. (2016). The quest for the empty fridge: Examining consumers’ mindful food disposition. In E. Cappellini, E. Parsons & D. Marshall (Eds.), The practice ofthe meal: Food, families and the market place (pp. 208–219). London, UK: Routledge.

Papargyropoulou, E., Lozano, R., Steinberger, J. K., Wright, N., & bin Ujang, Z. (2014). The food waste hierarchy as a framework for the management of food surplus and food waste. Journal ofCleaner Production, 76, 106–115.

Parfitt, J., Barthel, M., & Macnaughton, S. (2010). Food waste within food supply chains: Quantification and potential for change to 2050. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 365(1554), 3065–3081.

Porpino, G. (2016). Household food waste behavior: Avenues for future research. Journal ofthe Association for Consumer Research, 1(1), 41–51.

Quested, T.E., Marsh, E., Stunell, D., & Parry, A. D. (2013). Spaghetti soup: The complex world of food waste behaviours. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 79(1), 43–51.

Waitt, G., & Phillips, C. (2016). Food waste and domestic refrigeration: A visceral and material approach. Social & Cultural Geography, 17(3), 359–379.