About 80 percent of the public often buy more food than they can eat, causing large amounts to be wasted every day, a survey released by CommonWealth magazine showed.
As the magazine announced its “New good food movement,” it also called on the government, schools, business operators and members of the public to reflect on eating culture and to cherish food resources by eating more local and fresh food and reducing waste.
According to the survey, about 80 percent of respondents said they often buy more food than needed, with 29 percent citing savings made by buying in bulk and 27.6 percent saying that it saves time to buy a lot of food at the same time.
About 25 percent of respondents said they often throw away food that had not even been cooked.
The survey also found that 35 percent of Taiwanese eat out at least three days a week and 32 percent said they never take home unfinished leftovers.
Citing statistics compiled by the Environmental Protection Administration, the magazine’s survey center senior director Wu Ting-feng (吳挺鋒) said that an average of about 96kg of leftovers per person are created in Taiwan every year, about 20 percent more than in China, Japan or South Korea.
Using Council of Agriculture statistics that show Taiwanese consume an average of 567kg of food per person every year, the magazine calculated that about 17 percent of all food produced is wasted, Wu said.
Wu said that taking into account the average annual household food bill of about NT$180,000 (US$6,000), an estimated NT$240 billion worth of food is wasted every year.