Research Finds a New Way to Reduce Food Waste
Pity the poor blemished banana. In a society that equates beauty with quality, the perception that blemished produce is less desirable than its perfect peers contributes to 1.3 billion tons of wasted food a year globally.
That, in turn, raises the cost and environmental impact of feeding the world’s population.
Researchers are suggesting a potential solution – they found that ‘humanizing’ produce can change consumer attitudes toward fresh fruits and vegetables that are showing signs of age.
The work, published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, found that depicting imperfect-looking but still nutritious produce with human characteristics enhanced the food’s appeal.
“We suggest that when old produce is humanized, it is evaluated more favorably, since it leads consumers to evaluate the old produce with a more compassionate lens,” the researchers wrote.
Vanessa Patrick, Bauer Professor of Marketing at the University of Houston and a coauthor on the paper, said the researchers examined how attitudes toward human aging – “old is gold,” vs. “young is good” – translated to attitudes toward so-called “mature” produce. The project involved anthropomorphizing bananas, cucumbers and zucchini, or depicting the produce in ways that suggest human-like traits.
Bananas, for example, were depicted sunbathing while reclining in a chaise. Cucumber slices were used to create a picture of a human face.
“With fresh produce, aging promotes visible changes, much as it does in humans,” Patrick said. “That can create a connection with human qualities of aging when the food is anthropomorphized.”
In the study, participants were shown depictions of both fresh and slightly-past-its-prime produce in both anthropomorphized and unadorned states. Those who saw the anthropomorphized aging produce rated it as more desirable than participants who saw the same produce without the anthropomorphic effects.
Anthropomorphism didn’t affect perceptions of fresh produce.
The researchers said the results suggest grocery store managers and other marketers should consider using similar strategies to promote produce that has begun to show signs of aging but remains nutritious and tasty.
“Making food that would otherwise go to waste more appealing to consumers may allow store managers to avoid having to reduce the price for that older produce, which would improve the bottom line,” Patrick said.
Learn more: Research Finds a New Way to Reduce Food Waste
The Latest on: Wasted food
via Google News
The Latest on: Wasted food
- How cutting your food waste can help the climateon February 25, 2020 at 6:08 pm
And then when we throw it away, as it rots it releases yet more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It has been estimated that if food waste was a country, it would be the third highest emitter of ...
- 3 tips for shopping in the bulk foods aisle like a proon February 25, 2020 at 5:06 pm
On weekends, Ballard Market in Seattle refills its bulk spice containers twice a day. Coffee sometimes runs out in 10 minutes.
- Food Waste is the Secret Ingredient in this Household Cleaneron February 25, 2020 at 2:23 am
Food waste is the single largest contributor to American landfills, with estimates suggesting it accounts for 20 percent of the country's total waste stream. And while burning waste for energy and ...
- Food Waste Is a Serious Problem. Here Are 9 Ways to Throw Away Less Foodon February 24, 2020 at 1:02 pm
A third of all food produced is lost or wasted. Here are some strategies to waste less food in your home.
- Opinion: How to fight food loss and waste with high-tech and ecosystem-based solutionson February 24, 2020 at 8:40 am
Photo by: IBM Research / CC BY-ND As climate change climbs on the global agenda, one issue is climbing along with it: food loss and waste. The estimated 1.3 billion metric tons of food that is ...
- This building turns industrial food waste into energyon February 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm
One of the last old coal burning power plants in West Michigan has closed. The Sims coal plant in Grand Haven is being decommissioned. But as production at that plant ends, another type of power plant ...
- Three solutions for Indonesia to reduce food wasteon February 21, 2020 at 1:15 am
Simon Fraser University provides funding as a member of The Conversation CA. Indonesia is the second-largest contributor of food waste in the world after Saudi Arabia. Several studies have found more ...
- Study: Global food waste is twice as high as previous estimateson February 20, 2020 at 9:28 pm
Twice as much food as previously estimated — or a third of all food available for human consumption — is wasted, with people in wealthier countries wasting more, according to a recent study published ...
- Global food waste twice as high as previously estimated, study sayson February 20, 2020 at 1:29 pm
Twice as much food as previously estimated -- or a third of all food available for human consumption -- is wasted, with people in wealthier countries wasting more, according to a recent study ...
- Apps may help ease food wasteon February 19, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Food waste and hunger are two enormous problems that some nonprofit groups say can be addressed together by getting the extra food to the people who need it. New apps are making that easier. The USDA ...
via Bing News