Armed with your new understanding of date labels, try to reduce your own food waste. Don’t just toss your food once the expiration date has passed! Commit to using “expired” but perfectly safe food, not tossing it in a landfill. Only a small handful of foods, like deli meats, prepared foods and unpasteurized cheeses, can potentially be unsafe if kept too long. And don’t pass by “ugly” fruits and vegetables. Looks can be deceiving – these are just as wholesome and delicious!
Spread the Word
Ask your local grocery stores what they are doing to reduce food waste, and encourage them to make plans to donate healthy, wholesome surplus food. When you see a friend or neighbor throwing away otherwise wholesome “expired” food, say something! Then direct them to our homepage or tell them about the USDA FoodKeeper App, which helps you determine how long food can be kept safely and at its peak quality.
Voice Your Support for Federal Reform
It’s time to change the way we label our food! We need to enact a uniform, national system for date labeling. We should simplify the current number of date labels down to two: a quality date and a safety date. The quality date (“best if used by”) would be optional and tell consumers when to use the food for maximum freshness. The safety date (“expires on”) would be placed on the few foods, like deli meats or other prepared foods, that may pose a health risk if left on the shelf or in the refrigerator after a certain date. This can make a big impact on the countless gallons of milk wasted each year in Montana, and on reducing the senseless waste of food throughout the U.S.
Join us in the push for federal action!
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