Title

Misinterpretation of Food Labels and Food Waste

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Food waste is a global problem that occurs at every level of the food chain. It can be as large as an entire shipment of vegetables going bad due to a faulty cooling system, or as small as an individual throwing away food from their own fridge or pantry because it spoiled before they could eat it all, or the label suggested that it had spoiled. Food labeling misinterpretations can be considered preventable waste, making it a tangible, local effect we can tackle within our capabilities and time frame. The purpose of this project is to collect data from consumers in Missoula about what they currently know about food waste, and why they waste food (and money). We will be going out to grocery stores such as Walmart, Albertson’s, the Good Food Store and the Orange Street Food Market and surveying shoppers as they leave. The questions in the survey will aim to measure how much Missoula shoppers pay attention to food label dates and subsequently, how closely they adhere to those dates. We will perform the surveys between March 6th and March 19th. We plan to release this information to the Missoula Community by publishing an informative article in the local newspapers, like the Missoulian and the Independent. This article will discuss things such as expiration dates and recommended use by dates and how definitive these dates actually are. It will provide suggestions to prevent food waste and ultimately lower the amount of preventable food waste that occurs within Missoula.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 11:40 AM Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Misinterpretation of Food Labels and Food Waste

Food waste is a global problem that occurs at every level of the food chain. It can be as large as an entire shipment of vegetables going bad due to a faulty cooling system, or as small as an individual throwing away food from their own fridge or pantry because it spoiled before they could eat it all, or the label suggested that it had spoiled. Food labeling misinterpretations can be considered preventable waste, making it a tangible, local effect we can tackle within our capabilities and time frame. The purpose of this project is to collect data from consumers in Missoula about what they currently know about food waste, and why they waste food (and money). We will be going out to grocery stores such as Walmart, Albertson’s, the Good Food Store and the Orange Street Food Market and surveying shoppers as they leave. The questions in the survey will aim to measure how much Missoula shoppers pay attention to food label dates and subsequently, how closely they adhere to those dates. We will perform the surveys between March 6th and March 19th. We plan to release this information to the Missoula Community by publishing an informative article in the local newspapers, like the Missoulian and the Independent. This article will discuss things such as expiration dates and recommended use by dates and how definitive these dates actually are. It will provide suggestions to prevent food waste and ultimately lower the amount of preventable food waste that occurs within Missoula.