Economic Crisis Has Italians Conserving Food

Italians reduce food waste due to economic problems

Economic problems have Italians monitoring food waste and sell-by dates more carefully.

The economic crisis in Italy is bad, but a new survey indicates that economic troubles have inspired Italians to conserve food and monitor waste more closely.

Food waste is a major problem in Italy. According to The Local, people in Italy waste approximately €8.7 billion, or roughly $11.7 billion, every year. Every individual family throws out an average of €7 worth of food every week. But according to a new survey by Waste Watcher, a nonprofit that monitors food waste in Italy, people say they have been moved by economic troubles and environmental concerns to be less wasteful with their food.

In addition to reducing the amount of food wasted and being more mindful while grocery shopping, people are paying more attention to sell-by dates, Waste Watcher says. 63 percent of respondents even said they had eaten food that had passed the packaged sell-by date, which is an increase of 8 percent in the last three months.

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But while people report changing patterns of food waste, 41 percent of respondents admitted that they still buy and cook way too much food for their families, with much of it going to waste.