Crisis forces Italians to waste less food

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13:37 CET+01:00
A survey shows economic problems are forcing Italians to be less fussy when it comes to food, so they're reducing waste and paying less attention to sell-by dates.

Since September, families have reduced the amount of food they waste, La Repubblica reported. In addition, 63 per cent of families admitted to eating food even after it had passed its sell-by date, an increase of eight per cent in the past three months.

The figures come from Waste Watcher, a watchdog which monitors food waste in Italy.

Italians waste an estimated €8.7billion worth of food each year, with every individual family throwing away an average of €7 of food each week.

The survey shows that due to economic worries, and a growing concern over the environment, Italians are more aware of potential waste when they go shopping. Families reported changes in their shopping habits, from buying food in smaller packages to calculating meals for the week ahead and only buying what was necessary.

There is still work to be done, however, with 41 percent of respondents admitting buying too much food and cooking excessive amounts, with more than half saying they overestimated how much food they needed to feed the family – hardly a surprise in a country famous for its huge portion sizes.

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