Use-by dates are contributing to millions of pounds of wasted food each year.
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic says Americans are prematurely throwing out food, largely because of confusion over what expiration dates actually mean.
Most consumers mistakenly believe that expiration dates on food indicate how safe the food is to consume, when these dates actually aren't related to the risk of food poisoning or foodborne illness.
Food dating emerged in the 1970s, prompted by consumer demand as Americans produced less of their own food but still demanded information about how it was made. The dates solely indicate freshness, and are used by manufacturers to convey when the product is at its peak. That means the food does not expire in the sense of becoming inedible.
Read the full story - Food expired? Don't be so quick to toss it
This is the fifth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
A recent study by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers revealed that 30–50% or 1.2-2 billion metric tonnes (that's about 2.6-4.4 trillion pounds for those of us not on the metric system) of all food produced on the planet is lost before reaching a human stomach. There are plenty of factors at play - including large portions of edible crops being rejected because they're not physically attractive enough, problems in the supply chain and inefficient harvesting - but perhaps it's time to consider that your own kitchen might be part of the problem.
The next time you're heading out on a grocery run, try one or more of these simple tricks for minimizing food waste. Not only will they help you do your part to take it easy on the environment, but you may even save a few bucks in the bargain.
Up to half of the world's food is wasted, according to a new report that found production inefficiencies in developing countries and market and consumer waste in more advanced societies.
The British-based independent Institution of Mechanical Engineers said about 4.4 billion tons of food is produced annually and roughly half of it is never eaten.
Waste happens. Every cook knows that. Still, discovering wilted herbs or a loaf of stale bread can make you feel careless. Plus, tossing out food is expensive! The average American household discards between $500 and $2,000 worth of food a year.
But there are clever ways to minimize waste, by storing food carefully or preserving it at its peak to enjoy later, says Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of "Put 'Em Up," a book about preserving food. Here, a few of our favorites.
Read the full story - "How to stop wasting food" - on CNN Living.
Remember a few weeks ago when Jane Velez-Mitchell went dumpster diving? She hit the streets of New York City with a group of freegans to rescue food thrown out by stores and restaurants. Well, she wasn't kidding when she said she planned on eating the food she found discarded in the trash!
Eatocracy editor's note: We are hoping to Dumpster dive for better knives for Jane!
More at HLN.TV
A new documentary about food waste could dampen grocery chain Trader Joe’s crunchy image.
"Dive" illustrates the waste of wholesome food by following a group of “Dumpster divers,” people who mine trash bins for usable products. In the film, the divers are not homeless or even particularly poor; they just don't like to see good food go to waste, and they like to get stuff for free.
“In the United States, even our trash cans are filled with food; you just have to go get it,” director Jeremy Seifert says during the film’s opening sequence.
The “freegan” divers – Seifert, his wife, Jennifer, and a bunch of their friends – discover large quantities of fresh meat, vegetables and fruit in bins behind a couple of Trader Joe’s stores in the Los Angeles area. Seifert is appalled that so much food that is not spoiled and not past its freshness date is being discarded.