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Reducing food waste by 50%: the ideas of 30 students

Due studenti del World Challenges Programme
Due studenti del World Challenges Programme
Marco Borradori, Dany Stauffacher, Michael Gibbert, Marta Lenzi Repetto, Carol Switzer
Marco Borradori, Dany Stauffacher, Michael Gibbert, Marta Lenzi Repetto, Carol Switzer

Institutional Communication Service

According to FAO, one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted each year. This ethical, economic and ecological problem is further complicated by the fact that our world is divided by extreme waste on the one hand, and victims of famine on the other. On Wednesday 9 May, a group of 30 students from USI, the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden), and the Hanken School of Economics (Finland), gathered in Lugano to present various ideas to contribute creatively and effectively to the fight against food waste.

The students, all participants in an innovative international inter-faculty course offered as part of the USI World Challenges Program, developed their proposals utilizing data from IKEA restaurants in Lugano, Stockholm and Helsinki. The official collaboration with the Swedish multinational enabled students to come up with concrete ideas on how to reduce the 50% a further 50% by 2020.

These ideas are not just intended to involve customers in the act of purchase and consumption in restaurants, but also aim to increase sensitivity on the topic at home, in the course of everyday life. Ideas range from social media campaigns to sustainable recipe books, from "museums" on waste to actual signs inside shops, promoting – in accordance with the principles of behavioral economics - a more responsible way of acting.

After the presentations, students moved to the kitchen for a “Master Chef” style competition - coordinated by  Gaetano Tresoldi - focusing on optimizing ingredients as well as taste: this part of the initiative is among the affiliated activities of Lugano città del gusto (city of taste) 2018, which, like the USI World Challenges Program, aims to promote a culture more attentive to the complexity of the food sector, especially among young people. Lugano Mayor Marco Borradori also took part in the competition, bringing greetings from the City Hall to our visitors from Sweden and Finland.

The course, that began with USI students traveling to Stockholm and involves active collaboration and exchanges between USI, the Stockholm School of Economics and the Hanken School of Economics is supported by Mercator Swiss. The meeting in Lugano is supported by the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW).

For more information: https://www.usi.ch/en/wcp

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