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TheGreat_War_Machine t1_j4946hx wrote

From an economic perspective, waste doesn't mean anything if the product has already been paid for. Prices won't go up if it's the consumer that is throwing away the product after they have already paid for it.


DEMikejunior t1_j49k8rg wrote

iirc the majority of food waste happens before being bought by an end customer


Content_Flamingo_583 t1_j4a84f8 wrote

> the consumer that is throwing away the product after they have already paid for it.

Most food is wasted by corporations, not consumers. If they can’t sell it for a profit, they would rather it go in the garbage than be given to someone in need.


ashenblade t1_j4an9jd wrote

"There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange.

And coroners must fill in the certificate- died of malnutrition- because the food must rot, must be forced to rot. The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed.

And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quick-lime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."


gnat_outta_hell t1_j4agd1z wrote

I would be fine subsidizing this stuff going to people in need honestly. The waste is a failure of our greed and society.


powercow t1_j49gqw2 wrote

sure it does, you still got to eat, thats more demand. Because i bought more tomatoes than I needed and threw some out and went to buy more, that was more tomato demand than if i bought just the right amount. That definitely does effect price.


DrZoidberg- t1_j49n9tw wrote

Also economically less work has to be put into making whatever you're throwing away. Less work means less overhead means lower prices


Content_Flamingo_583 t1_j4a9t0x wrote

If you buy less of a company’s product, that company just produces less of it for sale. The price would stay the same.

(The price may even go up, because of a reduction of the economy of scale).

However, you would personally save money by simple virtue of the fact that you’re buying less of the product.

Which is to say, pro tip: You can save money by not wasting food you buy.


Content_Flamingo_583 t1_j4a8nit wrote

Increased demand doesn’t always raise price, due to economies of scale, and the fact that the supply can be elastic and adjusted based on demand.

Think about it, if most people who ate tomatoes now stopped eating tomatoes, would the prices of tomatoes go up or down in the long run?

Sure, in the short term there would be a glut, and the price would go down. But then the supply itself would shrink. Tomatoes would become a ‘niche’ vegetable, like an exotic fruit, and the lack of scale would mean that they would be more expensive on the whole.

It’s the same reason why increased demand for novel consumer products like computers or smart phones pushes the price down in the long run. The increased demand results in the production of greater supply, and due to economies of scale, that item becomes cheaper on the whole.

All this is to say, if we all bought half as much food, production would shrink, and the price would effectively stay the same for us at the consumer level.


Its_0ver t1_j4aaqby wrote

The food that was purchased by the consumer and then thrown away has to get replaced by new food right? So by replacing food that we threw away we artificially increasing demand. More demand+same production = increased prices


Joey3155 t1_j4ao74v wrote

Except it doesn't work that way. If I sell something to a customer and give it to them I have to order more food regardless. It doesn't matter if the customer eats it or has a 50 hooker gangbang with cheeseburger pasties. From the business's point of view we sold product, we have to order more inventory, wait for it to come, restock said inventory. Whether the paying customer wastes the food or not after paying is irrelevant.

Your argument would make sense if the waste occurred before the customer paid for it. But after the transaction is complete it really is irrelevant.


Elhaym t1_j4bbpa6 wrote

A customer that eats 100% of what they order will order far less than a customer that eats 10% of what they order, assuming they have the same caloric needs.


Joey3155 t1_j4c8l4l wrote

But again from the standpoint of the restaurant it is irrelevant. They have a recommended inventory level they have to maintain and a certain amount of food waste that occurs even if sales are zero. The issue is not the customer but the restaurant itself and to a certain degree the laws and policy they have to abide by. Plus if a customer pays for food in full the restaurant made their COGS plus their markup the economic impact as per the original context of the conversation is still zero. If you want to combat food waste and the socio-economic ramifications you need to focus on restaurants and their suppliers.