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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of restaurants from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Restaurants & Food Waste

In many countries, people throw away a lot of food from restaurants and shops.

Why do you think people waste food in this way?

What can be done to reduce the amount of food thrown away?

Food waste is a growing global problem. It happens because people often buy more than they need and the best countermeasure would be to cut down on portion sizes.

Food waste is mainly a result of individuals ordering or purchasing too much food. Many people order extra when dining out to ensure they are not hungry at the end of the meal. Humans are a planning and predicting animal and this is a natural instinct. The same drive partly explains purchasing too much food at the supermarket but there are other possible sources. For example, ambitious shoppers intending to cook a variety of dishes during the week, may buy a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables. If they are busy or cannot summon the initiative, the produce will spoil within a few days and they will have to throw it out and make other plans.

The solution is to reduce the amount of food people eat. A reinforcing cycle of over-eating by obese consumers can lead to greater food waste. People order or buy more than they need and stuff themselves at every meal. Over time, this becomes an ingrained habit and they purchase increasingly greater quantities of food, some of which will naturally go bad or be thrown out if they cannot finish it. A good counter-example to this practice would be in France, which is famed for smaller portion sizes. Food waste is dramatically lower in France simply because people eat modest meals and are therefore more likely to eat all their food. This could be replicated in other nations if governments reformed school meals and took other key steps.

In conclusion, food waste has deep psychological roots and the best solution is for individuals to reduce the size of their average meal. A shift like this will require a concerted effort from both ordinary citizens and health officials.

Analysis

1. Food waste is a growing global problem. 2. It happens because people often buy more than they need and the best countermeasure would be to cut down on portion sizes.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Answer both of the questions directly. Read more about introductions here.

1. Food waste is mainly a result of individuals ordering or purchasing too much food. 2. Many people order extra when dining out to ensure they are not hungry at the end of the meal. 3. Humans are a planning and predicting animal and this is a natural instinct. 4. The same drive partly explains purchasing too much food at the supermarket but there are other possible sources. 5. For example, ambitious shoppers intending to cook a variety of dishes during the week, may buy a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables. 6. If they are busy or cannot summon the initiative, the produce will spoil within a few days and they will have to throw it out and make other plans.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with the main idea at the end.
  2. Explain or develop your main idea.
  3. Continue to explain and vary your long and short sentences.
  4. Keep developing it more deeply.
  5. Use examples to support your ideas.
  6. Conclude with the fully results of the example.

1. The solution is to reduce the amount of food people eat. 2. A reinforcing cycle of over-eating by obese consumers can lead to greater food waste. 3. People order or buy more than they need and stuff themselves at every meal. 4. Over time, this becomes an ingrained habit and they purchase increasingly greater quantities of food, some of which will naturally go bad or be thrown out if they cannot finish it. 5. A good counter-example to this practice would be in France, which is famed for smaller portion sizes. 6. Food waste is dramatically lower in France simply because people eat modest meals and are therefore more likely to eat all their food. 7. This could be replicated in other nations if governments reformed school meals and took other key steps.

  1. Answer the other question directly with a new main idea.
  2. Begin your solution.
  3. Here I give background for my solution.
  4. I give further background here.
  5. Here I use an example to show a possible solution.
  6. Develop the example.
  7. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, food waste has deep psychological roots and the best solution is for individuals to reduce the size of their average meal. 2. A shift like this will require a concerted effort from both ordinary citizens and health officials.

  1. Repeat your answers to both questions.
  2. Add a final thought – read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Food waste is a growing global problem. It happens because people often buy more than they need and the best countermeasure would be to cut down on portion sizes.

Food waste is mainly a result of individuals ordering or purchasing too much food. Many people order extra when dining out to ensure they are not hungry at the end of the meal. Humans are a planning and predicting animal and this is a natural instinct. The same drive partly explains purchasing too much food at the supermarket but there are other possible sources. For example, ambitious shoppers intending to cook a variety of dishes during the week, may buy a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables. If they are busy or cannot summon the initiative, the produce will spoil within a few days and they will have to throw it out and make other plans.

The solution is to reduce the amount of food people eat. A reinforcing cycle of over-eating by obese consumers can lead to greater food waste. People order or buy more than they need and stuff themselves at every meal. Over time, this becomes an ingrained habit and they purchase increasingly greater quantities of food, some of which will naturally go bad or be thrown out if they cannot finish it. A good counter-example to this practice would be in France, which is famed for smaller portion sizes. Food waste is dramatically lower in France simply because people eat modest meals and are therefore more likely to eat all their food. This could be replicated in other nations if governments reformed school meals and took other key steps.

In conclusion, food waste has deep psychological roots and the best solution is for individuals to reduce the size of their average meal. A shift like this will require a concerted effort from both ordinary citizens and health officials.

Answers

growing global problem increasing issue around the world

countermeasure solution

cut down on portion sizes eat less food

mainly mostly

ensure make sure

natural instinct predisposed towards

drive partly explains desire somewhat illustrates

ambitious shoppers intending people buying more than they can eat/prepare wanting to

summon the initiative work up the effort to

produce fruit and veggies

spoil go bad

throw it out put in the trash

make other plans do something else

reinforcing cycle feedback loop

over-eating eating too much

obese consumers fat people

stuff themselves eat too much

over time gradually

ingrained habit accustomed to it

increasingly greater quantities of food larger and larger portion sizes

naturally go bad inevitably spoil

thrown out put in the trash

finish eat all

counter-example example of the opposite case

practice behaviour

smaller portion sizes less food per meal

dramatically lower much less

modest smaller

replicated repeated

reformed school meals changed what kids eat at school

took other key steps did other things

deep psychological roots part of being human

average meal normal meal

shift change

concerted effort dedicated attempt

ordinary citizens normal people

health officials those in charge of public health

Pronunciation

ˈgrəʊɪŋ ˈgləʊbəl ˈprɒbləm
ˈkaʊntəˌmɛʒə 
kʌt daʊn ɒn ˈpɔːʃən ˈsaɪzɪz
ˈmeɪnli 
ɪnˈʃʊə 
ˈnæʧrəl ˈɪnstɪŋkt
draɪv ˈpɑːtli ɪksˈpleɪnz 
æmˈbɪʃəs ˈʃɒpəz ɪnˈtɛndɪŋ 
ˈsʌmən ði ɪˈnɪʃɪətɪv
ˈprɒdjuːs 
spɔːɪl 
θrəʊ ɪt aʊt 
meɪk ˈʌðə plænz
ˌriːɪnˈfɔːsɪŋ ˈsaɪkl 
ˈəʊvər-ˈiːtɪŋ 
əʊˈbiːs kənˈsjuːməz 
stʌf ðəmˈsɛlvz 
ˈəʊvə taɪm
ɪnˈgreɪnd ˈhæbɪt 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈgreɪtə ˈkwɒntɪtiz ɒv fuːd 
ˈnæʧrəli gəʊ bæd 
θrəʊn aʊt 
ˈfɪnɪʃ 
ˈkaʊntər-ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
ˈpræktɪs 
ˈsmɔːlə ˈpɔːʃən ˈsaɪzɪz
drəˈmætɪk(ə)li ˈləʊə 
ˈmɒdɪst 
ˈrɛplɪkeɪtɪd 
rɪˈfɔːmd skuːl miːlz 
tʊk ˈʌðə kiː stɛps
diːp ˌsaɪkəˈlɒʤɪkəl ruːts 
ˈævərɪʤ miːl
ʃɪft 
kənˈsɜːtɪd ˈɛfət 
ˈɔːdnri ˈsɪtɪznz 
hɛlθ əˈfɪʃəlz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Food waste is a g______________________m. It happens because people often buy more than they need and the best c____________________e would be to c____________________________s.

Food waste is m__________y a result of individuals ordering or purchasing too much food. Many people order extra when dining out to e_______e they are not hungry at the end of the meal. Humans are a planning and predicting animal and this is a n____________________t. The same d_________________________s purchasing too much food at the supermarket but there are other possible sources. For example, a______________________________g to cook a variety of dishes during the week, may buy a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables. If they are busy or cannot s_________________________e, the p____________e will s______l within a few days and they will have to t_______________t and m_________________s.

The solution is to reduce the amount of food people eat. A r_________________e of o______________g by o_________________s can lead to greater food waste. People order or buy more than they need and s_______________________s at every meal. O___________e, this becomes an i____________________t and they purchase i__________________________________d, some of which will n________________d or be t______________t if they cannot f_________h it. A good c__________________e to this p___________e would be in France, which is famed for s__________________________s. Food waste is d______________________r in France simply because people eat m_________t meals and are therefore more likely to eat all their food. This could be r____________d in other nations if governments r____________________s and t______________________s.

In conclusion, food waste has d_________________________s and the best solution is for individuals to reduce the size of their a_________________l. A s______t like this will require a c_________________t from both o__________________s and h__________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about food waste below:

Reading Practice

Learn about what your city can do below:

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Food

  1. Do people in your country often eat together?
  2. Why are family meals less common today?
  3. Is this a positive or negative development?
  4. Are there any holidays in your country centred around food?
  5. Are international foods a threat to the traditional culture of your country?

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic and then check with my sample answer:

Some believe that people will purchase a product based on their needs and advertising is not needed.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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