Food Expiration Dates Confuse 9 of 10 Americans
September 20, 2013
A new report from Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) finds that expiration dates on food labels do more harm than good.
According to the report, The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America, up to 90 percent of Americans are confused by these "sell by" or "use by" dates and waste around $165 million worth of food each year.
The study also found that it gives a false perception of when food is unsafe to eat and is the leading cause of wasted food.
Partly to blame is the tangled web of loose federal and state laws related to date labels, prompting researchers to recommend a national, universal food date labeling system.
Additional information on the report is available at www.nrdc.org/media/2013/130918.asp.
It's no secret that food waste is a big problem in the United States and across the world. A report released this week from the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization shows that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year. The waste essentially erases almost one-third of the land, water and other resources used to produce global food supplies. The report, Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources, is available at www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3347e/i3347e.pdf.
Reprinted in part from Cattle Network