Students identify the imbalance between wants and resources, and the impact of scarcity on resource allocation. They identify that, when making choices, people use strategies to inform their purchasing and financial decisions.

Learning objective

Students learn about the resources needed to grow, harvest and sell food and how these limited resources are wasted when food is thrown away.

Curriculum links

Economics and business

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Food waste, water, energy, resources, landfill

Some food waste is unavoidable, such as banana skins and apple cores, but sometimes edible food, such as sandwiches and whole fruit, are also thrown out.

Wasting food has a significant impact on our resources. When we waste food, we waste the resources used to grow it, such as water, soil, and energy. All the energy used to process, package and transport food to our homes is also wasted. The estimated annual cost of food waste to the Australian economy is $20 billion (National Food Waste Strategy 2017).

App – Popplet (use with iPads)

Apps – Mindmaps and MindMeister (recommended for collaboration)

1.Watch When you waste food, you waste money, efforts, energy and more importantly LOVE (1:46 minutes)

2. Discussion questions:

  • Why was the bread thrown out? Discuss other reasons why food is bought or made and then thrown out.
  • What other resources are wasted when we throw out food? (water, energy, transport, money, and time)
  • In groups, brainstorm what food you most commonly throw out at home and at school. List the resources that go into growing, harvesting and selling food. Discuss how the resources are wasted and cannot be used for future generations. Is this fair? Why or why not?
  • Create a mind map to show the relationship between wasting food and wasting resources.

This video explores what happens along the supply chain when harvesting celery: Just Eat It – Field Waste – Celery (Deleted Scene)1.03 minutes