Food Waste–It’s Like Stealing

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.”

This site highlights 27 organizations in New York that focus on food loss and waste. And some cities—such as Austin, Texas—are banning restaurants from throwing out food waste
In recent years, the tech industry has turned to the power of mobile apps to collect and synchronize data to fight food waste and curb global hunger. These five apps are disrupting the way we produce, transport, and use food, helping to prevent spoilage and stop wasteful behavior.

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?”
A drive-thru of the internet will bring you a smorgasbord of statistics regarding world hunger and food waste, but one line that caught my attention made we wonder how (and if) things have changed since I was a youngster on the farm. According to the National Institute of Health, American consumers waste 50% more food now than in 1970. Click here for the blog Less Food Waste in the “Good Old Days”?
For a comprehensive, science-based look at the issue, click here for free access to CAST Issue Paper 62, Food Loss and Waste.

by dan gogerty (top pic from, middle pic from, and bottom pic from lessonbucket.jpg)

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