Too much food wastage during Christmas

Christmas food.Photo: Mattilsynet

Not all Christmas food is eaten and 37 percent admit to throwing away too much, according to recent figures obtained by Danske Bank.

Communications Manager Anne Marie Schrøder in Matvett, which works with the food and service industry to prevent and reduce food waste, thinks that one reason could be people stocking up food for days when stores are closed.

“People are buying more than they need in mid-December and buy raw materials in large quantities even though the stores are closed only for a few days,” said Schrøder.

Far more men than women said they throw away too much food. 41 per cent of the men surveyed said that they fully or somewhat agree that too much food is thrown away while the figure is down to 32 per cent for the women.

Lack of planning
Food waste can also come from people not planning their shopping trips.

“Many are not very good at planning, and are probably extra scared to run out of something for Christmas. In addition, there are probably many who have many guests and it is difficult to plan food for many, especially as it is one thing you may not do as often,” observed consumer economist Cecilie Tvetenstrand of Danske Bank.

44 percent of those who agreed that throwing too much food said that the reason is that they buy too much. 55 percent say there will be too much leftover.

Less food waste among the older folk
Those aged between  30 and 49 think, to a great extent, that they throw away too much food. However, there is less food wastage as one gets older.

50 per cent of those in their 50s stated that they slightly or totally disagree that too much food is thrown away while the proportion of those aged 60 and over is 48 per cent.

Tvetenstrand pointed to several possible reasons for this and one being that it is often the middle-aged who will host dinner parties on Christmas Eve.

“In addition, the older generation no longer have children living at home. It is easier to plan for adults only. With children in the house, one would like to have a good selection of different goodies,” she said.

Old habits die hard
The consumer economist also pointed out that older people often raised in a time of frugality.

“We must not forget that the economic picture looked different 30 years ago. Compared to today’s spending habits, one had to think more about what to spend money at that time. Such mentality still remains,” she said.

Matvett has several tips on how to reduce food waste, including planning a menu, shopping in advance, putting food out in smaller portions when there is a buffet and storing leftovers properly.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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