MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new study shows how much food in our fridge is going to waste. And the disparity between what people intend to eat versus what they actually end up eating is wide.

Researchers at Ohio State University found people expected to eat 97 percent of meat in their refrigerators, but really only finished half.

People were also overly-optimistic about how much of their vegetables, fruit and dairy would be used. In each of those cases, it turned out to be less than 50 percent.

Surprisingly, the conscientious people who cleaned out their refrigerators more often also wasted more food.

“Our results suggest that strategies to reduce food waste in the U.S. should include limiting and standardizing the number of phrases used on date labels, and education campaigns to help consumers better understand the physical signs of food safety and quality,” said Megan Davenport, who led the study as a graduate student in Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

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