Too Much Food: The Paradox of Plenty

Filed under: Commercial Food Practices,Food Stories,Major Food Issues |

food_wasteDo consumers in developed countries waste food because prices are so low?

Families struggling with stagnant incomes and falling wages may disagree, but the head of sustainability at packaged food giant Unilever, Jan Kees Vis believes that food prices may actually be too low for our own good.  

Cut rate pricing is held to be the optimum consumer-friendly circumstance, shoppers benefit from competition and can avail of more choice in the marketplace. But like other items for sale, value considerations determine how and why we purchase. If bargains at the supermarket and restaurant spur volume buying, the end result can be excessive purchasing and the almost inevitable waste that goes with it.

Here in the US, an appalling amount of food is wasted. Over in the UK, estimates are that much of what Britons take home from the store ends up in the trash. To determine how much of this is attributable strictly to cost and not to other contributing factors is the goal of a modest study underway there.

While affordability and availability of food is a major concern worldwide, the notion that precious resources are not being used efficiently should give us all pause.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login