Youngsters are worst food wasters, but they're learning grandma's ways

food waste
The more you cook fresh food and veggies, the more waste you are likely to have.

Aussies waste $76.4 million of food every week, with millennials the worst food wastage offenders, despite also being the group that professes most to care about waste.

Lonergan Research surveyed more than 1,000 Australians on behalf of Mitsubishi Electric to get a snapshot into how Aussies use their homes, with questions ranging through the cost of living, design, and entertainment. 

The results show that Australians are swapping takeaways and ready-made meals for healthier alternatives, which could be why wastage is so high. The survey found 37 per cent of Australians had decreased the number of takeaways they have ordered in the past 12 months, while 33 per cent cut the number of ready-made meals they bought over the same period.

But Jessica Millard, marketing and communications manager for Mitsubishi Electric Australia, says this resurgence of interest in fresh food could be contributing to more widespread wastage. “Australians spend more on fresh food each week than any other food group,” she explained. “Fresh food often goes to waste as many are unaware that fridge settings can play a major part in keeping things crisper and healthier, longer.”

The survey also found that the average weekly grocery shop came to $163.07, with an average of 13 per cent ($20.59’s worth) of the food bought going uneaten each week. Unsurprisingly, Baby Boomers both spend less on their shopping and wasting less of the food than younger generations. Baby Boomers spend an average of $118.83 per week with a wastage rate of 7 per cent ($7.88), compared to Millennials, who waste 16 per cent ($23.73) of their food.

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In the youngsters’ defence, however, home cooking is increasing in popularity, with 38 per cent of those surveyed saying they’re cooking at home more often than they did a year ago, and Millennials are the most newly enthusiastic, with more than half saying they’re cooking at home more often and almost a third saying they’re cooking in bulk to eke out as meals.

Do you think the younger generation is more wasteful? Did you grow up in a household where ‘waste not, want not’ was an iron rule? 

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