Why do we waste food, and how can we change our behaviour to reduce food waste?

Food waste is a major problem that affects not only the environment but also our economy and society. It is estimated that up to one-third of all food produced is wasted globally, and this waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues.

Let’s explore the psychology of food waste and offer some practical tips on how businesses can help reduce food waste.

The Psychology of Food Waste

Firstly, it is essential to understand the reasons behind food waste. Research indicates that there are several psychological factors that contribute to food waste, including:

  • Overestimating portion sizes: We often prepare or serve more food than we need, leading to excess food waste.
  • Lack of planning: We may buy too much food or not plan our meals effectively, leading to excess food waste.
  • Emotional attachment to food: We may keep food that we know we will not eat because of sentimental attachment, leading to unnecessary waste.


Excessive food waste is a common consequence of preparing or serving more food than necessary...

How Businesses Can Reduce Food Waste

As part of a global foodservice company, Compass Group Belgium has a significant role to play in reducing food waste. Here are some practical tips for business owners to help reduce food waste:

  • Educate staff: Train staff on the importance of reducing food waste and how they can help. Encourage them to monitor portion sizes, use up leftover ingredients, and plan menus effectively.
  • Implement food waste reduction strategies: Implement food waste reduction strategies, such as composting or donating excess food to charity.
  • Track food waste: Monitor food waste levels to identify areas where waste can be reduced. Analyse data to identify patterns and trends.
  • Use technology: Implement technologies, such as food tracking software, to help manage food inventory and reduce waste.
  • Encourage customers to reduce waste: Encourage customers to take only what they need, provide smaller portion sizes, and offer discounts for bringing reusable containers.


Reducing food waste is an essential goal that benefits the environment, the economy, and society. By understanding the psychology of food waste, businesses can implement effective strategies to reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future. As part of a global foodservice company, Compass Group Belgium has a significant role to play in reducing food waste, and by following the practical tips outlined in this post, we can all make a positive impact on the world.