Date label confusion harms consumers and food companies, and it wastes massive amounts of food, which harms the planet. The U.S. wastes 160 billion pounds of food, or nearly 40% of food produced in this country, annually. Twenty-five percent of our freshwater is used to grow food we throw away. What gets tossed out goes into landfills, releasing hazardous methane into an already stressed atmosphere. Making date labels clear and uniform offers a relatively low-cost way to eliminate confusion and save consumers money, and it would make a big dent in the unnecessary waste of wholesome food.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Rethinking Expiration Dates to Reduce Food Waste
Here is an interesting op ed by a lawyer and director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic. The author explains the inconsistent ways states regulate "sell by," "best by" and "expires on" dates on food. She supports federal regulation to make use of these labels consistent, and clearly indicate to consumers whether and when they need to worry about the safety of their food-- which in turn will reduce food waste in the US. She writes: