Shoppers overestimate perishable grocery habits, causing food waste

A new Ohio State University (OSU) study on grocery consumption published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling confirms that U.S. shoppers drastically overestimate how much refrigerated food they will finish.


For example, while 97% of respondents thought they’d eat all their meat, only 50% had by the time of a follow-up survey. However, the 12% of participants with access to organics collection or recycling options were less likely to overestimate or underestimate their consumption.

Products with vague expiration dates (ones without a "use by" or "best by") were 99% likely to not be completely finished. These results bolster legislative and educational efforts to clarify expiration dates, according to the report authors.

As food waste continues to attract international attention – along with ongoing investment and policy interest at all levels of the supply chain – it's still important to focus on what can be done at the household level.


To avoid data inaccuracies that might come from shoppers estimating how much they toss, the research team asked shoppers about their food habits twice.

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ource: Waste Dive