Even though I try really hard to buy only the groceries we need and in amounts we can use, my husband & I still end up throwing away a pretty good bit of food on a regular basis. What I can’t figure out is why throwing away food feels so much worse than letting clothes go unworn or DVDs unwatched, for instance. I wasn’t even raised in the kind of household where cleaning one’s plate was encouraged (in fact, quite the opposite – I was urged not to eat things I didn’t want).
What’s going on here? Does this emotion track something morally significant? That is, is it in fact worse to waste food than other kinds of things? Or is it just that the value of food is highly salient while you let it go bad and then chuck it into the trash?