wasting food

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?


  • jenclinton wrote:

    You could be choicier about the foods you bring home? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicolette-hahn-niman/avoiding-factory-farm-foo_b_353525.html

    I’d feel guilty throwing away food especially if I paid more for it, haha

  • That’s a great article, thanks for linking it. I’ve read about Niman Ranches before, but I didn’t know Ms. Hahn Niman’s story about being a lawyer and such.

    I’m pretty picky about the foods I buy in the first place, and it has definitely helped to decrease the amount I end up trashing. I used to have cupboards full of junk but began to mend my ways about a year and a half ago. I could probably shop even more carefully, though.

  • I would guess that the big factor is the absolute certainty of waste. If you buy clothes and don’t wear them, you cna tell yourself that someday you will actually wear them, or you will give them to someone who is going to wear them. But rotten food, that is going in the trash, no one will ever use it (unless you can compost it to get the nutrients back in the soil somewhere…).

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