GardenShare

GardenShare

Thursday, December 29, 2016

WASTING FOOD MAY BE IN YOUR MIND


Most of us underestimate our own role in creating food waste—and overestimate our efforts to reduce it. Like the residents of Lake Webegon, 73% percent of Americans believe they waste less food than the average American. (A mathematically impossibility.) Recognizing our own instincts is a crucial step in moving toward a truly waste-free kitchen. Research shows that people don’t like to have an empty refrigerator or an empty shopping cart, which leads us to buy more than we can realistically use right away. More than half of grocery store purchases are impulse buys. People also want to have options, rather than be committed to particular meals, so they’ll buy more than they need. And there’s a “diversification bias”: people like the idea of new types of foods (kale, quinoa), but don’t necessarily use them after they take them home. Some research has found that people feel less guilty about wasting food if they compost it rather than throw it in the trash. A list of generalized tips is a good starting point to get over some of these psychological barriers, but it might be more valuable to identify patterns of food waste in our own homes—and building a plan from there.

Source: Civil Eats, 12/12/16, Food Waste