Effective utilization of stockpiled food in local government storage through food banks in Japan: Reduction of food waste

Mizuho Sato, Masaru Nakano, Shahla M. Wunderlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In Japan's local government storage there is a substantial amount of food that is prepared and stockpiled which when unused, goes to waste. This study served two purposes: (1) to evaluate the attitudes of Japanese citizens and supermarket employees towards providing stockpiled food to food bank clients and (2) assess the nutritional value of stockpiled food. This study will hopefully lead to food waste reduction and improve the availability of food to individuals in need. The results indicated the following: (1) Majority, 89.9%, of participants answered, "I don't know" about the nutritional value of stockpiled food. (2) Half (54.5%) said that they would cooperate with supermarkets. (3) Surprisingly, 76.7% of participants answered, "I don't know" when asked about their knowledge of food banks. However, the vast majority, 79.5%, agreed that providing food banks with stockpiled food from local governments would be beneficial. (4) References were surveyed about the recent technological advances in preservation and the findings showed they could be effective for preserving fruits and vegetables in the supermarket. (5) There are some Japanese supermarkets that currently donate fruits and vegetables to food banks in need. (6) Supermarket employees were positive and willing to cooperate with food banks to provide them with fruits and vegetables. As a result of the positive attitudes of Japanese citizens and supermarket employees towards cooperating with food banks and supermarkets, there is potential for reduction of stockpiled food waste and taking proactive measures to improve the nutritional quality of the product in the food bank. It is possible that technology can be utilized to preserve fruits and vegetables that can positively contribute to this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-273
Number of pages13
JournalWIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1



  • Food bank
  • Local self-governing body
  • Stockpiled food
  • Supermarket

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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