Open crowd: Just-in-time food rescue

Daisy D S Tam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Hong Kong’s urban food system produces 3,600 tonnes of waste a day while 20 per cent of its population face food insecurity. In this article, I argue that waste, as matter out of place, is produced by temporal systems of enclosure—accumulation, either through hoarding, stockpiling or proprietorship, restricts access and circulation leading to decay and waste.

Food rescue, the repurposing of surpluses to be distributed to the society’s vulnerable population, has been hailed as a solution that contributes both to environmental protection and poverty alleviation. However, the temporal and dispersed nature of surplus food make logistics the greatest challenge in food rescue.

In this chapter, I explore the becomings of commercial food, attending to its temporal specificities by approaching the question of food waste as matter out of time. I will also present Breadline, a web application developed as part of my action research, to demonstrate an ICT-enabled solution that tackles the temporal and spatial challenges of food rescue.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Temporalities of Waste
Subtitle of host publicationOut of Sight, Out of Time
EditorsFiona Allon, Ruth Barcan, Karma Eddison-Cogan
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000209075, 9780429317170
ISBN (Print)9780367321796
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Environmental Humanities

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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