Why do we waste so much food?

It is in the most 'advanced' and affluent societies where the largest quantities of food are wasted at the consumer end of the chain.>>

Food represents a small portion of many of more affluent Americans' and developed nations' budgets, making the financial cost of wasting food too low to outweigh the convenience of it. It often seems that a long-held view that waste holds a powerful social function is not far from the truth. In the psychological-evolutionary perspective, if one is deemed wasteful, it infers that he holds excess and can thus "afford" to waste. In the past as in the present, social class and status was and is often deemed important by the rich of the day, and the rest of society follows suit believing that they achieve little social merit from consuming only 'the bare necessaries of life'. This is often displayed across almost all cultures.
Increasing standards of living and the booming developing economies have also changed the types of food consumed with an emphasis on a projected growth of meat consumption. Other drivers of waste are found in the food service sector, which in turn impact consumer behavior at home. Some wasteful practices include large portions, inflexibility of chain-store management, and pressure to maintain enough food supply to offer extensive menu choices at all times. But probably most noteworthy is that in the United States, portion sizes have increased significantly over the past 30 years. For example, from 1982 to 2002, the average pizza slice increased in calories by 70%. Today, portion sizes can be two to eight times larger than USDA or FDA standard serving sizes. Cheap, too-easily-available food has created behaviors that do not place high value on utilizing what is purchased. As a result, the issue of wasted food is simply not on the radar of many in the developed and fast-developing-nations.

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