Asda Customers save £57 a year by reducing food waste

Asda is the first UK supermarket to prove savings for customers, as two million reduce food waste at home following a campaign with the University of Leeds

Asda has become the first UK supermarket chain to confirm how much customers have saved after launching a campaign to tackle food waste.

Working in partnership with the University of Leeds, the business has revealed that customer bank balances were, on average, £57 better off a year as they committed to cutting food waste in their own homes.

Announced today at a parliamentary reception, hosted by MP Hilary Benn, Asda explained that the positive customer behaviour change was driven by a series of actions developed in-line with its customer insight, combined with research conducted by the University of Leeds.


Award for Published Paper

Professor Janet Cade's paper was chosen to receive the award for the best RCT (randomised controlled trial) published in 2014 by the Journal and the award was presented at the national IJBNPA conference in Edinburgh in June 2015.

Christian MS, Evans CE, Nykjaer C, Hancock N, Cade JE. Evaluation of the impact of a school gardening intervention on children's fruit and vegetable intake: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2014; 11:99


New Leeds Institute for Data Analytics facility and collaborative research in health and human behaviour

Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) is bringing together applied research groups alongside data scientists in mathematics and computer science to open up unparalleled opportunities to understand health and human behaviour.  We are investing in a purpose-built and fully equipped facility with space for more than 40 academic and research personnel, to maximise benefits for collaborative research and engagement with external partners.  Building on existing facilities including a safe data room, advanced computational infrastructure, and a fully equipped training suite, the new space is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015.


Transformations to Sustainability

Professor Paul Routledge has been awarded a highly competitive network seed grant of €30,000 from the International Social Science Council Transformations to Sustainability programme. The network, sited in the UK, USA, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand is investigating ‘resource sovereignty’ including food.


Leeds signs Memorandum of Understanding with Jiangsu University (JSU)

The two universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a recent visit from JSU’s President Yuan Shouqi to Leeds.

A new collaboration between the University and Jiangsu University in China aims to establish a joint research centre for food reassurance which will seek to accelerate the development and application of food safety and sensing technologies and solutions.

Professor Malcolm Povey, who is leading the collaboration at the University, says: “We aim to establish a UK-China joint laboratory on remote and non-invasive, non-destructive sensing for food quality and safety, which will enable us to maximise the resources and facilities in both universities.

“This is a key strategic activity for the University, as we have many internationally recognised experts in areas related to food sensing – including ultrasound, passive acoustics, microwave, terahertz, medical diagnostics, robotics, and optical techniques. Together with our engineering expertise, we also have leading exponents of the data analysis necessary to deal with data from multiple sources and modalities, and supply chain control. In addition to the academic leverage it gives us, the collaboration with JSU also offers greater investment and capacity in industrial or commercial strength engineering.”

The visit coincided with a Food Sensing Technology event at Weetwood Hall on 10 November which brought together food manufacturers, retailers and technology providers to discuss how improved food sensing technologies can better address food safety and quality.

The event at Weetwood was a great success, with many different disciplines represented, including food manufacturers, major retailers, equipment and technology manufacturers, and other universities and research organisations, as well a strong representation from University staff and government bodies including the Food Standards Agency. Some members of the Jiangsu delegation were also present for a large part of the day. Several working prototypes were used to demonstrate how new technolgies would work, and we had a drone airborne in the garden. Other technologies on display included hard plastic detection in ready meals without compromising the integrity of the pack, another which measured the internal density of a turnip to identify whether brown rot was present, and one which can accurately measure the crisp or crunch of food such as a biscuit being snapped.

Later in the day, the audience was split into four groups and challenged to identify the biggest issue they wanted solving within an industrial context. Each group was led by a representative from industry, and this proved very lively with strong debate. Rapid, non invasive affordable technology to test for physical and microbiological contamination of food throughout the supply chain was the main outcome, and sets a challenge for the research base.

The feedback from the day was positive, with many delegates asking for more networking time and even a second day if a similar event is done again.


School of Food Science & Nutrition, Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences

School Seminar

Thursday 7 December

2-3pm, Roger Stevens LT 12

Dr Vasanti Malik

Harvard School of Public Health (Boston/USA)

"Global Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics: Causes, Consequences and Public Health Challenges"

In this talk, I provide an overview of the global trends of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes prevalence and consider drivers of these trends with a focus on diet. Within this context, I describe some of my current work that aims to reduce Type 2 Diabetes risk factors by improving the carbohydrate quality of the diet in 13 LMIC's in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. An overarching goal of this collaborative research is that findings from these studies be used to motivate policies and dietary recommendations to reduce the burden of chronic diseases in these countries and globally.

All welcome  

Sadler Seminar Series 2017-18 - What to eat? Values and food choice

Daily food choice is shaped by numerous values. This interdisciplinary seminar series seeks to encourage conversations and collaboration between philosophy, psychology and related disciplines.

Seminar 3: Food, Climate Change, Rationing

Friday 8th  December  11:00-1:00

Leeds Humanities Research Institute

Wändi Bruine de Bruin and Astrid Kause (Centre for Decision Research, LUBS) How consumers perceive environmental and climate impact of food choices - a decision sciences perspective

The seminar will provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the question of how consumers perceive a changing climate –and how these perceptions relate to one of the major sources of global greenhouse gas emissions, namely their daily food choices. We will discuss the carbon savings potential associated with changes in daily food choices, and how consumers' values and knowledge influence perceptions of environmental impact of food. We will end with providing insight into how very simple decision strategies can potentially help consumers and policy makers to decrease their carbon footprints associated with food choice."

 Rob Lawlor and Nathan Wood (IDEA CETL) Managing our Hunger for Carbon

When discussing options to mitigate climate change, a number of approaches are considered; voluntaristic approach focusing on the ethical choices of individuals, economic approaches, aiming to discourage some behaviours and give incentives for others (primarily using taxes, subsidies and market creation), or regulation that simply would not allow certain activities. When considering climate change in general, the suggestion that we should rely on the voluntary ethical decisions made by individuals is rarely taken seriously. However, it is plausible to think that food is an exception here: restrictions on what we choose to eat seem unpalatable to many, and a tax on food looks problematic. We will draw on the history of food rationing during World War II to argue that rationing is an option that should be taken seriously. We will compare rationing with a) voluntarism, b) tax based solutions and c) tradable carbon allowances, and we will highlight the egalitarian nature of rationing.

All are welcome! 

For directions to the LHRI, see here: For further information about the seminar series, see  Please Please direct any queries to Aaron Meskin (  

Series convenors: Aaron Meskin (PRHS, Leeds), Pam Birtill (Psychology, Leeds) and Wändi Bruine de Bruin (Centre for Decision Research, Leeds)  

Co-sponsored by the LHRI and N8 Agrifood.


The final seminar in the FOOD series has now taken place:

“Facing the Future of FOOD”

The ESRC-funded seminar series Food Options, Opinions and Decisions (FOOD): Integrating perspectives on consumer perceptions of food safety, nutrition and waste has been designed by our team of practitioners and academics, and aims to identify strategies that help consumers to achieve nutritious food choices that both improve food safety and reduce food waste.

The seminar series has been designed by our team of practitioners and academics, with the goal of achieving the best impact. Our practitioner team members come from the Food Standards Agency which aims to improve food safety and healthy eating, as well as at the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which aims to reduce food waste. Our academic team members come from the University of Leeds Centre for Decision Research and the Human Appetite Research Unit who are experts in consumer food choice, domestic food waste, and risk communication, as well as from the Newcastle University Food and Society Group at the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development who are experts in food safety and risk communication.

Through nine seminars to be held over three years, which started in January 2015, we have created a lasting network of users and academics who have mostly been working separately on these different topics to date. We have confirmed academic and practitioner speakers from across the UK and overseas who are key experts in the relevant domains.

If you would like to view some of the presentations and outputs from the previous seminars, you can view them in PDF or video format on the website

For more details about the project please visit