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Jump to navigation. Here's a superbly-kept secret: All those dates on food products—sell by, use by, best before—almost none of those dates indicate the safety of food, and generally speaking, they're not regulated in the way many people believe. The current system of expiration dates misleads consumers to believe they must discard food in order to protect their own safety. In fact, the dates are only suggestions by the manufacturer for when the food is at its peak quality, not when it is unsafe to eat. Forty percent of the food we produce in this country never gets eaten. That's nearly half our food, wasted—not just on our plates, but in our refrigerators and pantries, in our grocery stores and on our farms.

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The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America

The Clinic is an experiential learning program in which law students are able to engage in practical, hands-on training working with real world clients to impact food laws and policies. Our work on expiration dates started as a project addressing the needs of our client, Doug Rauch, who was looking to start a new model of food store that would sell food that was still good but might otherwise go to waste.

This is an area where the legal system, rather than improving a social issue, is actually at fault for creating more food waste and reduced consumer safety. The system most definitely is confused! We had trouble finding any two states that had the same rules. The very fact that states are so inconsistent with one another shows that these dates have nothing to do with food safety, because food safety outcomes are not varying from state to state based on these date labeling laws.

Most people we talk to are shocked to find out that the terms used are undefined, that there are no rules about how dates are set, and that the labels are so inconsistently regulated. But because there is no set legal definition of this term, this is not always the case.

But in general, I think consumers can look at sell by and know that this is intended as a stock rotation date and that foods are still safe and fresh for a few days after that date. What is the difference between those two categories? Again, since these dates are not defined, there is no set meaning for these terms.

And in the US, there is no consistent difference between the two — they are often used interchangeably. The report focuses on how the labeling system ends up inadvertently creating food waste, but you also reference how under-regulation of the food labeling system also causes food safety issues.

Can you explain that? The main issue is that consumers not only rely on food dates as a reason for tossing food that is still perfectly edible and safe, but they also seem to believe that all foods will be safe prior to the expiration dates, so they will continue to eat food that has actually been stored or handled unsafely.

So the overreliance on dates and the misunderstanding of dates as safety indicators causes problems on both ends. In my mind, the most straightforward way to do this is using federal regulation.

This is not to say that industry could not do a lot of good with voluntary changes, but because there is such a range of state laws regarding date labels and they are so different from one another, there are actually some limitations on what changes industry can make. So unless the really strict states change their rules or until the federal government steps in to create uniform rules, industry action can be a great first step but may not be able to get us to the best system.

That said, because I assume it costs a lot for companies to keep up with all the state laws many of which are still changing — four states passed new expiration date laws in , I think there are also benefits to industry in terms of reduced administrative costs if they have a uniform law. We have only had good experiences doing this — we are saving food and saving money! The report stems from a larger report we worked on, the Wasted Report, where we looked at the drivers and extent of food waste across the country.

Can you tell me more about that? Fat free milk, with half gallon and quart, the same product had different information- one was a Best By date and one had no letters on it. Same exact product and totally different dating system. Some portion of that they attribute to lack of standardization.

A former CEO of a grocery chain told me a story that they were buying the same meats as the competitor across the street, but their store was putting the date three days out, whereas the competitor was putting it as five days out. They thought they were making the product seem fresher that way, but when they started interviewing people they found they were going across the street to purchase meat, because they were assuming that with five days out it had more time left and was therefore fresher.

They changed it and all was well. The bottom line is that we would like to see a less confusing and more standardized system of dates.

If I want my food to be as good as it can be, should I still pay attention to the sell by date? What does it mean to not be at its peak quality? It depends on which product. This is Part 2 of a two-part series. See Part 1 here: Dr. Ted Labuza on Slime, Bombs, and Rot.

The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Perrin Ireland has been a doodler her entire life, a learner who visualizes concepts in order to understand them.

You have free article s left. Already a subscriber? Sign in. See Subscription Options. How could federal regulations of food labeling be improved? How has this work affected you personally? What are the environmental implications for this kind of food waste? Perrin Ireland Perrin Ireland has been a doodler her entire life, a learner who visualizes concepts in order to understand them. Recent Articles Dr. Ted Labuza on Slime, Bombs and Rot. Get smart. Sign up for our email newsletter.

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Food Expiration Date Labels Trick People into Wasting Food, Money, and Natural Resources

Two leading food industry associations have partnered to help standardise food expiration labels and reduce food waste. The Food Marketing Institute FMI and Grocery Manufacturers Association GMA are appealing to retailers and manufacturers across the industry to limit the range of food expiration labels to two terms: "best if used by" and "use by. Pamela G. Globally, the issue of food waste is beginning to attract more attention; at the end of last month, the European Parliament's Environment Committee urged Member States to halve food waste by to combat the estimated 88 million tonnes of food is wasted annually in the region. Europe , Air Pollution , Policy.

Two leading food industry associations have partnered to help standardise food expiration labels and reduce food waste. The Food Marketing Institute FMI and Grocery Manufacturers Association GMA are appealing to retailers and manufacturers across the industry to limit the range of food expiration labels to two terms: "best if used by" and "use by. Pamela G.

Words such as convoluted, confusing, inconsistent, ineffective, disorienting, ambiguous and dizzying are not terms you want to hear associated with a system you believe is designed to guarantee food safety. Date labeling was instituted in the s as a way to give shoppers assurance that they were buying fresh food. That incoherence is costly for shoppers and retailers, bad for the planet, and could even be leading to increased health risk. Each year, an obscene amount of food is wasted in the US and around the world — and confusing and inconsistent food date labels are making the matter worse. That translates to wasted natural resources, wasted money, and wasted nutrition.

New standardised labels to reduce food waste in the US

Americans are constantly besieged by conflicting messages about food, the environment, and health and nutrition. Are foods with genetically modified ingredients safe? Should we choose locally grown food? Is organic food better than conventional food? Are concentrated animal feed operations destroying the environment? Should food corporations target young children with their advertising and promotional campaigns? This comprehensive three-volume set addresses all of these questions and many more, probing the problems created by the industrial food system, examining conflicting opinions on these complex food controversies, and highlighting the importance of food in our lives and the decisions we make each time we eat.

Forty Percent of Food in the US Never Gets Eaten

Misinterpretation of food labels is one of the key factors contributing to this waste. Confusion over dates, according to a survey by the Food Marketing Institute, leads nine out of 10 Americans to needlessly throw away food. For the average family of four, this could estimating to several hundred dollars' calculator of food being thrown away every year. A senseless food, when we're all keeping a close eye on our household budgets, and when one in six Americans lacks a secure supply of food.

The Clinic is an experiential learning program in which law students are able to engage in practical, hands-on training working with real world clients to impact food laws and policies.

Tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date. The last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality.

Get the Dating Game Report - Natural Resources Defense Council - nrdc

Department of Commerce -- is intended to facilitate providing consumers with information about the shelf life of foods at the time of purchase. The report advises:. The lack of binding federal standards, and the resultant state and local regulatory variability in date labeling rules, has led to a proliferation of diverse and inconsistent date labeling practices in the food industry.

This book addresses the production practices employed in the production of food animals and animal products that enable marketers to sell a variety of products to meet consumer demand. Food animal production practices have come under increased scrutiny by consumers who object to inputs and practices. The industry has been a proponent of using technologies to reduce production costs, resulting in lower-priced meat and animal food products, and now consumers are starting to look at other objectives. This book considers the key issues of concern to consumers, including the treatment of animals, the use of antibiotics, feed additives and hormones, and how these are monitored, regulated, and communicated to consumers. It also reviews labeling and information provided to consumers, including organic, genetic engineering, welfare standards, and place of origin.

Sharing the future in packaging

Account Options Sign in. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Oxford University Press , M08 7 - pages. From gluten-free to all-Paleo, GMOs to grass-fed beef, our newsfeeds abound with nutrition advice. Whether sensational headlines from the latest study or anecdotes from celebrities and food bloggers, we're bombarded with "superfoods" and "best ever" diets promising to help us lose weight, fight disease, and live longer. At the same time, we live in an over-crowded food environment that makes it easy to eat, all the time. The result is an epidemic of chronic disease amidst a culture of nutrition confusion-and copious food choices that challenge everyday eaters just trying to get a healthy meal on the table.

Natural Resources Journal 57, – NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food.

It is a mess," says Dana Gunder, food and agriculture staff scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council and the co-author of a new report about food expiration dates. The confusion over when to eat or toss food leads to both unnecessary food waste and unsafe food consumption practices, the report argues. According to a survey by the Food Marketing Institute, confusion over dates leads 9 out of 10 Americans to throw away food needlessly. The lack of binding federal standards, and the resultant state and local regulatory variability in date labeling rules, has led to a proliferation of diverse and inconsistent date labeling practices in the food industry. Open dates can come in a dizzying variety of forms, none of which are strictly defined or regulated at the federal level.

Food Expiration Date Labels Are Confusing, Uninformative: NRDC Study

Он опустил глаза и посмотрел на ее протянутую руку. - Речь идет о засекреченной информации, хранящейся в личном помещении директора. Ты только представь себе, что будет, если об этом станет известно. - Директор в Южной Америке.

University of Arkansas Sustainability Blog

И мы, те, кто близко к сердцу принимает интересы страны, оказались вынужденными бороться за наше право служить своей стране. Мы больше не миротворцы. Мы слухачи, стукачи, нарушители прав человека.  - Стратмор шумно вздохнул.

Съехав на эту же улицу, оно начало набирать скорость, двигаясь прямо в лоб мотоциклу. Он должен был бы удариться в панику, но этого не произошло: он точно знал, куда держит путь.

Но тебе там понравится. ГЛАВА 50 Фил Чатрукьян остановился в нескольких ярдах от корпуса ТРАНСТЕКСТА, там, где на полу белыми буквами было выведено: НИЖНИЕ ЭТАЖИ ШИФРОВАЛЬНОГО ОТДЕЛА ВХОД ТОЛЬКО ДЛЯ ЛИЦ СО СПЕЦИАЛЬНЫМ ДОПУСКОМ Чатрукьян отлично знал, что к этим лицам не принадлежит. Бросив быстрый взгляд на кабинет Стратмора, он убедился, что шторы по-прежнему задернуты.

Сьюзан Флетчер минуту назад прошествовала в туалет, поэтому она ему тоже не помеха. Единственной проблемой оставался Хейл.

Сам придумал. - А кто же еще! - ответил тот с гордостью.  - Хочу его запатентовать. - Как торговую марку? - Беккер смотрел на него изумленно. Парень был озадачен.

- Я не Северная Дакота. Нет никакой Северной Дакоты. Забудьте о ней! - Он отключил телефон и запихнул за ремень. Больше ему никто не помешает.

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