Why We Waste

A new study from the University of Illinois finds that a surprising
number of the things we buy at the grocery store never get used. Brian
Wansink is a Professor of Marketing at the U-of-I. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham talked to him about why people spend
money on products they never get around to opening:


In the back of your cabinets you’ll likely find canned goods or other products you bought years

ago, but never opened. Brian Wansink found as much as twelve percent of the products they buy are

never used.

“In almost all these cases – er – in about three-quarters of the cases, the abandoned products, or

these castaway products that people have in their cupboards, end up being bought for

over-ambitious reasons. They’re essentially events that never happen or for recipes that we never

got around to making or things like that.”

Wansink says when they were asked how they planned to dispose of their abandoned products, more

than fifty percent of the homemakers surveyed said they would end up throwing the items away

rather than keeping them or donating them to a food pantry.

For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.