Read the full story at Phys.org.
Pop quiz: What’s the difference between “best by,” “sell by” or “expires on”?
If you’re not sure, you aren’t alone. Americans toss out $165 billion worth of food each year, often out of safety concerns fueled by confusion about the meaning of the more than 10 different date labels used on packages.
Grocery manufacturers and retailers are finally taking pity. Recently, the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association announced they would voluntarily streamline date labels and begin using two standard phrases: “best if used by” for quality and “use by” for highly perishable items like meat, fish and cheese that can be dangerous to eat if they are too old.
Food manufacturers will begin phasing in the change now, with widespread adoption expected by summer 2018.
Food policy experts from across the University of California praised the new guidelines, calling them a positive step that could help consumers and the environment.
Read the full story from NPR.
This month, I ventured to ask the man behind the counter at a Whole Foods Market what kind of shrimp he was selling. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I think they’re just normal shrimp.” I glanced at the sustainable seafood guide on my phone. There were 80 entries for shrimp, none of them listed “normal.”
What about the cod? Was it Atlantic or Pacific? Atlantic. How was it caught? I asked. “I’m not sure,” he said, looking doubtfully at a creamy fish slab. “With nets, I think. Not with harpoons.”
The shrimp had a blue sticker shaped like a fish on it, which appeared to be some type of official approval. Plus, they were on sale. I bought half a pound.
I was using the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app, one of a handful of sustainable seafood guides which base their recommendations of sustainable seafood on a range of factors, including where the fish came from, how it was caught or farmed and how the local environment was affected. Spend an hour trying to make sense of these guides, and you may feel more confused than when you started — and guilty about putting an unsuspecting grocery employee on the spot.
Read the full story in the Democrat & Chronicle.
Some local grocers and national retailers are taking a harder look at what’s in their trash to increase the bottom line by diverting food from landfills and to those most needing it.
Wegmans Food Markets joined an effort late last year with several businesses and the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture to cut food waste in half by 2030.
Read the full story in The Guardian.
As public outrage over food waste grows, almost every British supermarket has responded to consumer pressure and linked up with food redistribution organisations such as FareShare and Foodcycle.
But while good practice is emerging, supermarkets’ work with charities is barely denting the waste problem. Fareshare, for example, estimates it accesses just 2% of supermarkets’ available food surplus.
Read the full story in the Daily Review Atlas.
Hy-Vee has partnered with global produce company Robinson Fresh to offer a line of “Misfits,” or “ugly” produce, at almost all of its more than 240 stores, according to a news release from Hy-Vee. The items are delivered weekly based on what’s available, and are sold on average at a 30 percent discount, the release said.
Read the full story from Public Radio International.
The Fillery is designed to reduce waste and save money: Shoppers will bring their own reusable containers and buy only what they need. The store hopes to open its doors in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, later this year.
Read the full story at CBC News.
A former worker at almost a dozen Walmart stores in the Vancouver area is speaking out about what he calls “disturbing” food waste at the big retailer.
Daniel Schoeler says on every shift at almost every store, he saw loads of what appeared to be perfectly good food dumped in the trash, even though Walmart says it only discards inedible food.