Bringing Our Values to the Table: Political Ideology, Food Waste, and Overconsumption
Consumers served large meals are often confronted with the trade-off between wasting food and overconsumption. Although these outcomes are negatively correlated, researchers have rarely considered how individuals who subscribe to different political ideologies resolve this trade-off. Two experiments show that when consumers are served large portions, making the potential for food waste salient produces opposing reactions among liberals and conservatives. Liberals become concerned with avoiding the negative environmental consequences of food waste and eat more than normal (i.e., they overconsume) to prevent waste. In contrast, conservatives focus more on taking personal responsibility to avoid the negative consequences of overconsumption and eat less than normal, avoiding overconsumption but producing more food waste. Practical implications for marketers and researchers are discussed.