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Welcome to the course

Article introducing the topic of food waste, the Educator team, and the difference taking this course will make.

Welcome to ‘From Waste to Value: How to Tackle Food Waste’, a European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Food online course produced by the University of Reading and RethinkResource.

Why this course?

Food waste is climbing to the top of the sustainability agenda because producing our food is responsible for climate change and environmental devastation across the globe. While changes can be made to the way food is produced, one of the best ways to make a difference as a consumer is to stop wasting the end-products and begin to value them in the way they deserve.

This course is for consumers, demonstrating how we can act and inspire others to reduce food waste effectively and sustainably.

Firstly you’ll look at the problem, how extensive it is and its impact on the planet. Then you’ll examine the circular economy – a framework that can provide real solutions. In Week 2 you’ll look at changes you can make at home; in the way you shop, cook and store food, and in your local communities. In Week 3 we’ll explore the impact you can have at a wider, national level by comparing the practices of different retailers, restaurants and catering outlets, and investigating national and EU organisations.

What difference will taking this course make?

By the end of the course you will have:

  • Reflected on your own personal contribution to the problem and discovered shopping and storage tips that’ll help reduce waste at home.
  • Explored the potential of the waste hierarchy and the circular economy to provide a framework to help you change your practices and live more sustainably.
  • Discovered how technology is being used to combat waste and the many apps and platforms you can make use of to prevent food going to waste in the community.
  • Found out about the ways your own supermarkets and retailers are working to bring down the level of food they waste.
  • Engaged with national and EU organisations to find out about policies and initiatives that tackle waste at a systemic level.

Who will I learn from?

Meet the Educators who developed the course:

Simona Grasso Food Scientist and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading.
Eva Schlösser Food scientist at RethinkResource, a agency for innovation and upcycling.
Fabienne Thöni Communications and marketing manager at RethinkResource
Natalia Mansilla Food engineer involved in EIT Food projects working in the School of Agriculture, Policy & Development at the University of Reading.
Agnese Rondoni Studying for a PhD in the School of Agriculture, Policy & Development at the University of Reading.
Sabrina Spartano Studying for a MSc in the School of Agriculture, Policy & Development at the University of Reading.

We are also grateful to Solveiga Pakštaitė, Founder & Director of Mimica and Jessica Katz, Business Support at Mimica, for contributing content for the course.

Meet your Course Mentors:

Agnese Rondoni

Sabrina Spartano

Eva Schlösser

Between 16 November and 6 December the course will be facilitated by the Educators and Mentors, who’ll be on hand to help support the discussions found at the end of most Steps and enhance your learning experience.

You may like to follow their activity in the discussions; to do this you just need to view their profile and click the ‘Follow’ button. You will recognise them by ‘Educator’ or ‘Mentor’ appearing next to their name in the comments and discussion areas. By following a profile, any comments made will appear in your activity feed, which you can filter by selecting ‘Following’. Please note, the team will do their best to answer as many questions as they can but they will not be able to respond to them all.

Glossary of terms

You may like to keep this glossary open in a separate window (hold the control key when you click on the link to open a new tab) in case you want to refer to it during the course.

Top tips

If you’re new to the FutureLearn platform, here are some tips you may find useful to help you prepare:

  • Take a look ahead to see what is coming up in the following Weeks.
  • Each video also has a transcript which you can read by clicking ‘view transcript’ found underneath each video.
  • As you work through the course, mark each Step as complete to help keep track of your progress.
  • Hold down the shift key when clicking on a web link. This will open the link in a separate window so you don’t lose your page that you’re working through.
  • Look out for any further reading which can be found at the bottom of the Steps under the heading ‘See also’ and supporting documents listed under ‘Downloads’.

If you have any questions about how the site works, you may find FutureLearn’s start guide and FAQ pages helpful.

Now you’ve met us, we’d like to meet you! Please share your reasons for joining this course in the discussion area below. We look forward to hearing more from you as the course progresses.

© EIT Food
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From Waste to Value: How to Tackle Food Waste

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