One of the main problems in the field of nutrition over the past decades is food waste, according to the Research Institute of Consumer Goods IELKA.
According to a survey conducted by the research institute between November 5-11, 2021, with a sample of 1,000 consumers from all over the country, Greek households have a high percentage of food waste (6% on average). It is noteworthy that only 29% of households said that they do not waste food, buy exactly as much as needed, and do not throw it into the trash.
According to IELKA, 60% of respondents say they throw up to 10% of food in the trash can; 9% – from 10-25% and 2% – more than 25%. These figures show that the amount of household food waste exceeds 300,000 tons of food products per year. This amount corresponds to an annual consumption of 200,000 people, which indicates the importance of the problem. These figures are consumer estimates that have historically been proven to be generally lower than actual waste.
However, it should be noted that compared to other countries such as the United States, the numbers are more encouraging. According to the 2019 Movinga survey, most Western European and American countries have higher rates, for example, USA – 24%, Canada – 18%, UK – 15%, France – 14%, Belgium – 14%, Italy – 13%, Austria – 13%.
The main food categories that are thrown away are:
68% – fruits and vegetables, bakery products – 58%, meat – 37%, dairy products – 29%, sweets and snacks – 28%.
Less waste is recorded in dry products: rice, pasta, legumes – 15% due to the longer shelf life of the products. And in meat-fish – 14% due to the higher cost / kg of products.
It is noted that consumers are somewhat aware of the negative effects of food waste. 81% of those surveyed say they feel guilty when they throw away food, which suggests that there is a good reason to solve the problem. However, only 11% say they think their food waste is high.
As for the reasons why food is thrown away, 21% of respondents attribute this to poor food waste management in the household, and 18% – to making larger purchases than necessary. 30% of consumers believe that this is the fault of the food business (packages of 2 goods +1 are often sold for free, and a person willy-nilly takes a package, although he really does not need so much).
The IELKA study shows that the issue of food waste has a significant impact on Greek society, which must be incorporated into organized management action.