The FOOD we WASTE – A Project in Sustainable Food Solutions

Students in the course Food Systems were given a project this semester – create an awareness graphic about facts and solutions around food waste. A total of 15 infographics were created and put to a vote by the student body, and the winner was Alyssa Barret’s graphic ‘The FOOD we WASTE’. If you are visiting the student lounges at the DIS library from now until April, you’ll find all the infographics displayed, including Alyssa’s!


Alyssa’s faculty member, Glika Koutina, says of her infographic “it was a simple and focused design, establishing a clear connection between the poster’s various features in combination with sufficient amount of data. Notice that she started the infographic with a good ‘why’ question in order to grab her audience’s attention.”



An Interview with Alyssa

We caught up with Alyssa in an interview to ask her more about this project as well to find out more about what she is learning about the burning issue of sustainability…

Tells us more about the message behind your infographic – what did you find inspirational in creating it?

I created an infographic regarding food waste within the home because I think it’s a really accessible approach to food sustainability. While food waste is an issue in larger areas too (retail, manufacturing, etc), it’s easiest to initially practice sustainability in our day to day lives. I think the most inspiring part about creating the infographic was actually just outlining the numerous solutions to food waste. It’s really easy to become overwhelmed by this enormous global problem, yet once I started jotting down solutions, they are genuinely effortless and all around us.

What is something super interesting that you’ve learned in Food Systems so far? 

We talk a lot about urban agriculture in my course, and we learned that if the world continues at this rate, there will an estimated 9 billion people on the planet by 2050 and 60% of them will live in cities. It’s also pretty commonly known that 1/3 of all the food produced in the world ends up as waste. Personally, I find both these facts terrifying.

Agriculturally, we don’t have the means to sustain such a population or such a terrible habit. Both urban and rural farming practices will need to adapt rapidly to fit the needs of the world in the coming years. Perhaps even more importantly, we must become aware of the all the food we waste. It’s this food, the food we already grow and produce, that will be absolutely vital in finding a solution to this dilemma.

Anything that stands out as different between the U.S. and Danish/European approaches towards sustainability and food that you have learned about and find interesting? 

While I’m always impressed with the Danish focus on all things “green,” I actually haven’t found too many differences between U.S. and Danish practices towards food sustainability. For example, I live in a homestay and my family was unfamiliar with the concept of composting. After talking to numerous other homestay students, I found that none compost and many mentioned how their families don’t really make an effort to recycle. These are the exact same issues that plague the U.S, and I think it just goes to show how the whole world has a long way to go in terms of sustainability and environmentalism.

What made you want to take this class in particular?

I’m a Psychology major with minors in Art and Communication, so I’ve never really had the opportunity to take a class like this. I’m also from Vermont, where sustainability, local farming, and general environmental awareness have become culture, rather than just “nice things to do.” For these reasons, I was both excited to step outside my academic comfort zone and get into the ideas that have defined my upbringing. It’s been great diversifying my course load here at DIS, and Food Systems is just one example of so many classes that are talking about really important ideas.


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