Food-waste study reveals trends behind discarded items
- Science daily
- Americans throw out a lot more food than they expect they will, food waste that is likely driven in part by ambiguous date labels on packages, a new study has found. "People eat a lot less of their refrigerated food than they expect to, and they're likely throwing out perfectly good food because they misunderstand labels," said Brian Roe, the study's senior author and a professor agricultural, environmental and development economics at The Ohio State University. This is the first study to offer a data-driven glimpse into the refrigerators of American homes, and provides an important framework for efforts to decrease food waste, Roe said. It was published online this month and will appear in the November print issue of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling. Survey participants expected to eat 97 percent of the meat in their refrigerators but really finished only about half. They thought they'd eat 94 percent of their vegetables, but consumed just 44 percent. They projected they'd eat about 71 percent of the fruit and 84 percent of the dairy, but finished off just 40 percent and 42 percent, respectively.