Wasting Too Much Food?
Families in the United States with children in their households waste an average of $1,500 worth of food each year. That adds up to $29 billion in food waste annually in this country. We’re not alone – in the UK, the average family with children wastes £700 (about $945). And worldwide an estimated 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted annually. That may change for the better if an ambitious plan to standardize food labels worldwide achieves its aims. If so, the new label used in packaging will be “BEST if Used By,” meaning that the food is safe to eat after the date specified but may not taste its best if you don’t eat it sooner. The other label proposed is “Use By,” which according to the Food Marketing Institute means that the product is perishable and should be discarded if you don’t consume it by the date on the package. If this standardization is adopted, you will no longer see a “Sell By” date on food packages – a label that has caused lots of confusion and promoted food waste, as many people throw out these packages after the “Sell By” date even though the food is probably safe to consume.
Consumer Goods Forum, “Companies Commit to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020, Reducing Food Waste.” September 20, 2017, theconsumergoodsforum.com/companies-commit-to-simplify-food-date-labels-worldwide-by-2020,-reducing-food-waste
Also in this week’s bulletin: