Cooking big family meals with a large variety of delicious and nutritious foods with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day is just what loving mothers do. But here’s some bad news for loving mothers everywhere: According to new research, they’re wasting money and destroying the environment. Shout out to ambivalent and absentee mothers everywhere!
Depressingly titled “Wasted Positive Intentions: The Role of Affection and Abundance on Household Food Waste,” the study from researchers in New York and Brazil identified “familial affection and preference for abundance as major drivers of wasted food in lower-middle income American families.” As many can probably relate to, the research found that mothers (or, more broadly, caregivers) often like to serve large meals to show affection for their family. Families who have faced food insecurity in the past are more likely to keep extra food on hand. But having more food also led to more waste, which not only has the much discussed global impact, but also a personal financial impact: wasting $371 on average per person in the US per year.