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Source: Proagrica news release

New research has shown the lifestyle changes Americans are making to reduce food waste: three-quarters (76%) say they are now more likely to shop more often and in smaller quantities, to avoid having to throw away unwanted or spoiled food.

A similar number (74%) are now likely to buy more frozen food for the same reason, and fully half (50%) suggest they are now prepared to buy the 'ugly' fruit and vegetables that so often sit unwanted on the supermarket shelf. Male shoppers (56%) are more likely than women (46%) to accept those less attractive foodstuffs.

When asked where the responsibility for food waste primarily lies, US shoppers pointed the finger at food producers: 41% said it was down to farmers and 42% said the responsibility lies with manufacturers such as grain firms and pesticide makers. The focus is clearly on the food sector to demonstrate it is doing all it can to reduce the amount of discarded food.

By comparison, less than a quarter (22%) said it was consumers' responsibility to reduce food waste by changing their own behaviors and shopping habits.

The survey of more than 1,000 US adults was commissioned by Proagrica, a global provider of technology solutions for the agriculture and animal health industries.

It also highlighted the growing number of Americans who take ethical considerations into account when buying their food. More than a third (38%) say the ethical credentials of the retailers and producers (e.g., certification, where food is sourced, field to fork tracking) influence their purchase choices whenever possible.

In addition, 77% say they're trying to reduce 'food miles' by buying more locally-sourced produce.

Graeme McCracken, managing director at Proagrica, says: "Food waste has become a major issue on the national agenda and this research shows that Americans are changing their shopping habits accordingly. They're shopping more often, in smaller amounts, and buying more frozen food that will stay edible for longer.

"However, US consumers still feel it is primarily the responsibility of farmers and food producers to do more to alleviate the problem. Businesses in the food and agriculture industries need to actively show they are working together to make their operational processes more transparent and more efficient."

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