- Sen. Richard Blumenthal is introducing legislation to clarify confusion generated by "Sell By" dates that often lead people to throw away perfectly good food by the tons. Consequently, the misleading labels come as an expense to consumers and to the environment, contends Blumenthal.
- The proposed law would set a national standard with accurate information, specific to each product, on the timeframe in which it is safe to eat. With similar legislation having already been submitted to the U.S. House, Blumenthal says such reform faces an "uphill fight" in Congress, according to the Hartford Courant.
- The senator has begun to reach out to food industry professionals to get them behind the proposed legislation, having invited many of them to speak up at a meeting yesterday on food label reform.
We live in a throw-away society — one in which experts say an estimated 90% of Americans toss perfectly edible food, largely due to consumer confusion surrounding food dating. However, as many communities attempt to reach zero waste goals, this common trend of food waste is creating an enormous obstacle.
There are innovations to try to prevent unnecessary food waste, such as the EPA's community food waste prevention tool, which has been linked to a 25% reduction in household wasted food. Other innovations in packaging are preserving food longer.
Now, food manufacturers may be called on to do more. While this could mean higher costs and additional research for labeling changes, it could also save thousands of dollars for families annually — while allowing for reduced methane emissions, saving water, and overall making a positive impact on the environment.