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Finns waste less food than other Nordic nations

YLE NewsEye on the Arctic

In terms of food wastage, Finns can mount their high moral horse when comparing themselves to their Swedish neighbors.

Out of all the Nordic nationalities Finns are by far the least wasteful, with Swedes taking the biscuit for throwing out their edibles.

A study by home appliances seller Siemens found that 6.2 percent of Finnish people throw out food either on a daily basis or between four and seven times each week. In Sweden it was 23 percent, Norway 22.1 percent and Denmark 16.4 percent.

Over 72 percent of respondents said they always or sometimes have a bad conscience about throwing away food when others in the world go hungry.

RELATED: Finland the fattest Nordic nation

Those with the least guilty conscience were young people aged between 20 and 29 -- also the demographic who discarded the least food. Only 10 percent felt ashamed of their food binning habits.

Among older respondents around 40 percent felt their conscience pricked, and 56-to-70-year-olds were in, fact, also found to be the most wasteful.

Within Finland, those living in the east were five times more likely than those in the west to be bothered by a guilty habit of chucking food. In terms of the Nordics, the Danes are the most haunted by their wasteful tendencies and the comparatively carefree Norwegians the least worried. The conscientious Finns were second most likely to feel ashamed, despite having the best record on the frugality front.

When it comes to weighing up whether something has gone bad or not, 69 percent of Finns followed their nose. Around half also made a visual assessment and about a third had a brave nibble. 38 percent of respondents said they went by the best-by date.

Vegetables, fruit and milk were the most likely to be thrown away and the food that least often ended up in the garbage was the versatile egg.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.