The average consumer throws away the equivalent of an entire McDonald's Big Mac ...

Food waste scandal: The average consumer throws away the equivalent of an entire McDonald's Big Mac EVERY DAY — and rich people are the worst offenders Much-cited UN figures suggested that, in 2005, a third of all food was wasted However, experts say this did not consider the impact of consumer behaviour The team set out to explore the relationship between wealth and food waste  They found waste begins to rise when more than £5.17 is spent a day per person 

By Ian Randall For Mailonline

Published: 19:00 GMT, 12 February 2020 | Updated: 19:00 GMT, 12 February 2020

View
comments

The average consumer throws away the equivalent of an entire McDonald's Big Mac in wasted food every day — and rich people are the worst offenders, a study found. 

This research is the first to investigate how consumer wealth impacts food waste — and it suggests that households may be wasting twice as much food as was thought.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimated that, in 2005, a third of all food available for human consumption was wasted.

This figure has since endured as a reference for the extent of global food waste.

However, experts said, the UN calculation does not factor in consumer behaviour, instead considering food supply alone in determining the extent of food waste.

Scroll down for video

The average consumer throws away the equivalent of an entire McDonald's Big Mac in wasted food every day — and rich people are the worst offenders, a study found

The average consumer throws away the equivalent of an entire McDonald's Big Mac in wasted food every day — and rich people are the worst offenders, a study found

Economist Monika van den Bos Verma and colleagues from Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands set out to quantify the relationship between food waste and the affluence of consumers.

Using a human metabolism model and data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation, they created an international dataset that provides estimates of both global and national food waste.

The researchers found that once consumer affluence reaches a daily spending threshold of around £5.17 ($6.70) per head, food waste starts to rise.

At first, waste levels increase rapidly above this threshold with rising wealth, but subsequently at much slower rates with higher levels of affluence.

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Mars formed slowly over the course of 20 million years
NEXT Technology Mobile World Congress canceled after coronavirus outbreak makes conference ...