False Alarm

Expiration Labels Lead People to Toss Good Food




Several countries are asking the European Commission to exempt some products like long-life produce from the mandatory “best before” date labels because they lead to food waste. According to a discussion paper issued by the Netherlands and Sweden and backed by Austria, Denmark, Germany and Luxembourg, many food products are still edible after the labeled date, but consumers throw them away because of safety concerns.

The European Union annually discards about 89 million metric tons of edible food. In the U.S., food waste comprises the greatest volume of discards going into landfills after paper, reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2012, this country generated 36 million tons of food waste, but only 3 percent of this waste stream was diverted from landfills.

A 2013 report co-authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic proposes that producers and retailers take other steps to prevent the discarding of good food.


Source: EnvironmentalLeader.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Turtle Turnaround

After volunteers cleaned up ankle-deep trash and waste at Versova Beach in Mumbai, India, sea turtles returned to hatch for the first time in two decades.

Air Fare

A startup is using microbes to transform the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into bio-based products such as protein powder that are packed with essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Saudi Solar

Saudi Arabia, which produces an eighth of the world’s oil, is planning to build the world’s largest solar installation.

Hopeful Sign

The Humane Society and other groups succeeded in lobbying Congress’s 2018 budgetary process to preserve protection for wild horses and burros, wolves and puppies in mills.

Pipeline Slowdown

The controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been delayed after the builder missed a tree-cutting deadline required for bird and bat protection.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags