Food Waste Rate Cut?

Well, The Fed is at it again, cutting interest rates. But could the recession sparking these moves “cut” the rate of food wasted?

Fed Chair Ben BernankeAs you’d expect, there’s less eating out in lean times. This article documents that trend from a trash collector’s perspective. Less business, means less food waste, right? Maybe.

Fewer diners equals less plate waste (the food customers don’t eat) at restaurants. Yet, restaurants will still be ordering and preparing amounts based on older projections. Eateries slow to adjust to the changed economy will just trade table scraps for kitchen waste.

A recession can spark more waste by increasing business for “value” restaurants like buffets and purveyors of large-portions. These establishments breed excessive waste from having to constantly keep the buffet stocked to plates full of food left uneaten.

With less eating out, a restaurant dumpster’s loss is your trash can’s gain. Hopefully folks will save leftovers and/or compost remains. The garbage disposal isn’t the best option, as it clogs sewer systems and wastes water.

The real question is whether a recession will lead to more food thrift. One possible silver lining to a recession is that it spurs you and me to value our food more. Food becoming more expensive, either through rising prices or diminished wages, will eventually do that. (I hope.)

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