Food waste continues to garner plenty of attention from the media, organizations, and the public. Restaurant chains and grocery outlets are trying to attack the problem, and some companies are attempting new ways to recycle waste—making fiber, insulation, and even beer products. The issue is now considered one of the key components in reducing hunger—and many think waste reduction programs will also help with environmental, health, and sustainability issues. As Pope Francis said, “Food waste is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.”
Another major factor is the misconception about what all of those dates on food-package labels—“sell by,” “use by,” and “best if used by”—really mean. Ninety percent of Americans misinterpret the dates on labels—according to a recent study from the Natural Resources Defense Council—and throw out food that could still be consumed or frozen for later use.
If expiration dates aren’t a reliable gauge of food spoilage, how does a consumer know what to keep and what to toss? This CAST video explains the confusion, and this article offers solutions for consumers regarding food safety and spoilage.
In an effort to simplify food purchases and reduce food waste, grocery manufacturers and retailers launched an industry-wide effort to adopt standard wording on packaging about the quality and safety of products. As reported by Sara Wyant in AgriPulse, the new system proposes just two standard phrases—rather than the ten different date labels now on packages.
|“Gee, Wally—what’s food waste?”|
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