Are celeb chefs causing us to waste food?

Sep. 20, 2011 at 10:56 AM ET

We’ve all been there.  You decide you’re finally eating right this week, so you buy a ton of groceries on Sunday; make a delicious meal on Monday; tire by Tuesday and order take-out for two nights – and then realize on Thursday that your fridge is full of rotting (or at least rapidly aging) food.

Americans waste more than 40 percent of their food, and it’s no different in the U.K., where people throw out 8.3 million tons of food each year. Now, a British sociologist is saying that TV chefs are partially to blame.

After studying the eating and cooking habits of 19 households in Manchester, England for eight months, sociologist David Evans concluded that many families throw out pricey fresh food after trying to cook from scratch like celeb chefs.

“The pressure to cook and eat in the ways celebrity chefs advise means a lot of food is already at risk of getting thrown out,” Evans told the U.K. Daily Mail

“People with influence – like celebrity chefs – should acknowledge these issues and think about ways of making it socially acceptable or even desirable for us to eat the same meal several nights in a row or use frozen vegetables,” he added.

Evans points to the cooking style of Delia Smith – Britain's answer to Sandra Lee – who cooks using a mix of fresh and shelf-stable packaged ingredients to prevent waste. While this is one route, there are also options to freeze unused ingredients like herbs, fruit, veggies and meats, as well as a variety of sealing options.  

Do you find yourself wasting a lot of food? Who is to blame? Do you have tips for preventing waste? Share your thoughts in the comments!