The U.S. and Europe waste about 10 times as much food per person as sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia, that report found. In the developing world, storage problems are the main culprit. But in developed countries, consumers throw out lots of food that is still perfectly edible.
Pichler says the rampant waste is a symptom of a culture that commodifies and devalues food.
"There are lots of spontaneous decisions in the supermarket," Pichler tells The Salt. He says people often don't stop to think about whether they're buying too much, or whether they could reuse leftovers instead of throwing them away.
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