Throwing Away Perfectly Good Meals- Julie Cardillo

In the United States, people tend to take their meals and food for granted. Based on my experience of seeing my friends and others eating at restaurants or at home, it appears that it is a social norm to not finish your whole meal and then just have it thrown it away. Personally, I do not like to waste food, so whenever I do not finish my meal, I ask for a take out box or I will save the food for later. This does not affect my food choice, but it does for many people. This social norm connects to food choice because people think that it is “okay” to order/cook and not finish any kind of meal (whether it may be a sandwich or a chicken dinner with various sides) and just aimlessly throw away a perfectly good meal. This also connects to food choice because if someone knows they are not going to eat most of a big meal, then they should order/cook something small, so they don’t waste any food.

The main societal issues that this connects to are food waste and environmental issues. People tossing out meals causes environmental issues since the leftover food is being thrown into landfills, where it decomposes and produces gases that are bad for the environment. Also, when people throw away perfectly good meals, they are being altruistic because there people from other countries starving to death and would do anything to have even a fraction of the thrown out meal. Just as the module states, “If we care about distributive justice, then we may choose foods that leave more food available for others.” Wasting food also causes money to be wasted since the food cost money to be put on the table. Thus, in my opinion, I think that the social norm should be that it is “not okay” to toss out the rest of your meal, rather that that the norm is to save the food for later or not order/cook more than you can finish.