Think of how many times you’ve grabbed an apple only to find a section of it bruised. What happened to that apple? Did you disregard the imperfection and use it anyways, or did you throw the entire piece of fruit away? Most people would have done the latter. It’s all too common in this day and age, and as we’ve discussed before, food waste statistics are jarring. So how can we take these food waste studies and do something about it?
Before we start to try to eliminate food waste, we must begin with understanding why we waste food. There are a number of reasons, and here are a few important ones to consider:
One of the biggest factors to food waste is many people simply do not realize how much food they throw away, nor do they realize the environmental impacts of that waste. A survey by Johns Hopkins revealed there is a sizable amount of people who know food waste breaks down in a landfill so “it doesn’t bother” them. They may not be aware of the negative effects to the environment that are caused by rotting food. Growing awareness to the problem is the first step towards a reduction in waste.
Yes, love. Believe it or not, one reason for high amounts of food waste is due to affection. One study showed that preparing and over-serving large portions of food is a way of showing love and affection for friends and family. The leading source of food waste in the study was food leftovers that went uneaten. Don’t blame Mom entirely. Just be sure to finish those Brussels sprouts next time.
Ask any group of people why they throw out uneaten food, and a majority will say they do so for their own safety. We worry about getting food poisoning from any products that have passed their expiration date. In reality, many of those dates are confused with “sell-by” dates or are labeled incorrectly. Additionally, consumers normally want the freshest and finest quality foods. If foods aren’t perceived as fresh, they can be wasted.