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Regular version of the site

Article

Ecology shapes moral judgments towards food-wasting behavior: Evidence from the Yali of West Papua, the Ngorongoro Maasai, and Poles.

Appetite. 2018. Vol. 125. P. 124-130.
Butovskaya M.

People judge food wasting as an immoral behavior. Although moral concerns vary widely across cultures, to this date, food wasting moral judgments were investigated only among rich and industrialized ones. This study reports first evidence of cultural variability on moral judgments of food wasting between modern and traditional cultures. We conducted our study among the Maasai - pastoralists of Ngorongoro, Yali - horticulturalists of West Papua, and among citizens of Poland. According to the results, Maasai judge food wasting as more immoral compared to Yali and Poles. What's more, Yali judge food wasting harsher than Poles. These results suggest that there are cultural differences in moral judgments of food wasting. These differences might reflect the impact of unstable ecology on food economy of a given society. We hypothesize that harsh moral judgment concerning food waste may serve as a cultural adaptation for food insecurity.