An evaluation of a ‘Love food hate waste’ educational session amongst primary school children aged 9-11 years
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AbstractFood waste is a major public health concern at present, with 177 million tonnes of food wasted globally each year and 7.2 million tonnes wasted within households in the United Kingdom (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, 2014). With a lack of awareness in the general population of food waste and the associated implications for the environment and the economy Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) is a national campaign aiming to improve knowledge and attitudes amongst individuals within the UK (Quested, Parry, Easteal, & Swannell, 2011; Love Food Hate Waste, 2014). The campaign has successfully educated adults and households leading to a 13% reduction in food waste over 3 years, however little is known about its impact amongst children in the school setting(4). The aim of the present study was to assess the potential for a LFHW session delivered in primary schools thus evaluating the impact of the session on pupils aged 9-11 years (key stage 2). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 4 teachers/support staff from 4 different primary schools to assess the expected current understanding of pupils with regards to food waste. Following this mixed method questionnaires were used to assess the impact of an educational LFHW session on children pre and post session (n=163), also evaluating teachers post session. The interviews found that children had some baseline knowledge of environmental and economic concepts to be able to apply to understanding food waste. The LFHW session improved awareness of food waste (as shown in figure 1), post session 83.3% of pupils were able to recognise that a lot of food is wasted within the UK. Although the pupils understood the economic impact they generally struggled to grasp the main environmental concepts associated with LFHW, there was no statistically significant difference between environmental knowledge before (M=7.64, SD=1.292) and after (M=7.31, SD= 1.524) the session (p=0.38). In conclusion, primary school children aged 9-11 are capable of recognising food waste as a problem however they appear to lack the knowledge to be able to understand the main concepts comprising the LFHW campaign. It may be more beneficial to take a different, more interactive approach to delivering future sessions as effectively demonstrated in other research.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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