Serving Size, Satisfaction Influence Food Waste On Campus

A new study published by Rice University on the 2nd April 2021 looked at what drives food choices. In an attempt to help schools, hospitals and university’s reduce food waste.

Up until now, researchers have looked at households to find out more about what drives choices surrounding food.

This study looked at institutional settings, where there is no perceived financial penalty for filling your plate with food and not eating it.

Diners were asked to take a photo of their plate before and after finishing their meals. Discovering that it wasn’t the type of food added to plates, it was the quantity that drove food waste.

Furthermore, students who were accustomed to the menu, and confident in their choices wasted less. 

The study aims to better understand what causes food waste and create strategies to prevent it, such as posting signs to drive healthier and more sustainable choices.

Food waste was found to be directly related to satisfaction, how often they went to the dining commons and how much food they put on their plate.

The authors recommend that further research is done in order to assess what drives food waste in more diverse settings. 

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