Economics professors Hongxing Liu and Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres published a new study on food choices and food waste in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling. They conducted randomized field experiments and online surveys to test how menu design affects food choices and food waste.
Their results indicate that when encountering menus that more prominently display small portions, people are more likely to choose small servings of food and also waste less. Therefore, “narrow menus” can boost not only healthier eating but also lower food waste, an important goal in the fight against climate change.
The professors argue that this potentially could save quite a lot of money. Given that a typical residential student wastes 141.75 lbs./year of food, their results indicate that a college the size of Lafayette could save $246,036 per year in food alone.