Document Type


Publication Date



© 2020 Elsevier Inc. It is estimated that nearly one-third of food produced on the planet never meets its intended purpose of human nourishment. This represents a substantial stock of resources available for reallocation. Any potential reallocation of resources raises ethical issues – who should sacrifice (change current behaviors), who should benefit, and what methods are appropriate to induce the behavioral change required to invoke the reallocation? In this brief article, we will discuss several topics in the food waste literature that, in our opinion, raise ethical issues that warrant further thought and consideration. These include the emphasis on food donation as a means to reduce food waste, the emergence of markets for food with cosmetic imperfection (i.e., “ugly food”), the appropriateness of guilt appeals to motivate reductions in wasted food, and the ethical tensions in choosing dates on food labels.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Physiology and Behavior