Food waste, that scourge that sends more than a third of our meals provide to rot and is a serious contributor to climate change, looks as if it ought to be straightforward to handle. Waste much less meals, advocates cry, and it can save you cash! It can save you time! It can save you farmland and gasoline, and, since agriculture drives habitat loss, you may even assist save the tiger.
And but, right here we’re within the thick of Earth Month, on a day designated as “Stop Food Waste Day,” and also you in all probability don’t have to look additional than your personal kitchen or cafeteria to see edible meals dumped. Within the U.S. greater than 80 percent of food waste has been traced to houses and shopper-dealing with companies.
So why is that this drawback so onerous to resolve? As a result of, researchers say, we’re solely human. We’ve some irrational tendencies, some aspirations that don’t match actuality, and a few main blind spots. To not point out busy schedules that don’t at all times align with when the avocado on the counter lastly ripens. Right here within the U.S., meals waste is commonly invisibly baked into how we store, prepare dinner and entertain.
Confusion over “greatest by,” “promote by,” “use by,” and different date labels leads People to throw away an estimated $29 billion of safe food every year. Advocates are attempting to teach customers and standardize the labels, which typically aren’t regulated and are sometimes primarily based on high quality, not security.
To check simply how far this blind religion extends, researchers at Ohio State College introduced study participants with jugs of milk of various ages—some with the “promote by” date; others with none courting.