Standardized date label legislation is a crucial step in addressing food waste

Read the full story in Food Dive.

Is that carton of milk you forgot to finish before your spring vacation still safe to drink? The answer may not be as simple as the expiration date you are so used to checking. A new study found that date labels are often not telling you what you think and the consequences are much bigger than a dry bowl of cereal.

About 40% of all food available in the United States, and 30% globally, is never eaten. If all wasted food represented an individual country, it would follow China and the U.S. as the third greatest emitter of greenhouse gases.

While 38.4 million Americans suffer from low or very low food security each year, more than 52 million tons of food ends up in our landfills. It costs the United States $218 billion each year to produce, ship and dispose of this food that will never be eaten. That is the equivalent of 1.3% of our GDP. But a cost-effective food waste reduction strategy stares us in the face every time we inspect that milk carton — standardized date labels.

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