Between perceptions and practices: The religious and cultural aspects of food wastage in households

Efrat Elimelech, Keren Kaplan Mintz, Tally Katz-Gerro, Hilah Segal-Klein, Lana Hussein, Ofira Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the determinants of food provisioning is crucial for efforts to reduce household food wastage. Various studies have identified a web of interrelated socio-demographic characteristics, values, attitudes, and skills as drivers of household food wastage. Our contribution is in exploring the relationship between cultural and religious views and food waste generation. We do that in the context of three social groups in Israel: secular Jews, religious Jews, and Muslim Arabs. We interviewed 27 individuals who have a certain standing in their respective communities with broad perspective of the cultural context of food-related issues. Our results highlight the conflict between religious and secular values and actual food wastage practices. We identified several factors that lead to household food wastage: past scarcity, the consumer culture, and hospitality. We found various ways by which cultural and religious values shape food-waste perceptions. Results show a dissonance between food-related motivations and actual practices. We also demonstrate how the dissonance can be reconciled, both on the level of justification and on the level of action.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106374
Early online date15 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Culture
  • Food wastage
  • Households
  • Practices
  • Religion


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