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They're set by manufacturers, without federal oversight, and most often relate to what manufacturers feel is "peak" quality.The vast majority of consumers don't realize this, and as a result, good food ends up in the trash.That said, the rub in this country isn’t so much the risk of disease as it is convenience.To get food from grocery story-to-feedlot requires infrastructure and coordination, but those are surmountable challenges, especially with public support.But since World War II, the practice has largely been replaced with grain-based feeds. But groups like The Pig Idea argue that as long as scraps are heated properly they’re safe.There’s no reason we should be devoting massive amounts of fossil fuels or cutting down forests to grow so much grain. The fact is companies are protected by the 1996 Good Samaritan Food Act, which removes the legal risk involved when giving away food products to the needy. A As we reported recently, the European Union is moving away from use-by date labels for these reasons. The FAO expects that with 9 billion people on the planet by 2050, food production will have to increase by 70 percent. In 2012, the European Union set a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2020.
We’re talking carrots with two tails and Siamese twin eggplants—produce that is perfectly fresh, but just a bit off on dimensions. Traffic to the Intermarché stores has kicked up by 24 percent, while the produce section alone is 60 percent busier. Myth: Feeding Animals Food Scraps is Always Dangerous Humans have fed pigs and chickens food scraps for thousands of years. The disease was linked to the practice of feeding livestock untreated food scraps. And the notion of serving up swill to livestock has made the entire EU nervous ever since.It simply means February 10 is the day that the manufacturer believes (often somewhat arbitrarily) their product is at its peak, e.g., the crumb is perfectly soft or the crust ideally crispy. So supermarkets play to psychology and overstock displays, building pyramids of oranges and coliseums of cheese.But in fact, it is usually safe to eat well after that. Not only do stores order more food than they’ll ever sell, but products go bad faster when they’re exposed to the light and air of the store floor.As fossil fuels become more expensive and climate change tightens its grip, that’s a paradigm that needs to change.Take this dating quiz: The date stamped on your food tells you if it's safe to eat, right? Here's the secret to the (food) dating game: Those "best by," "sell by," and "use by" dates that you see on food have nothing to do with food safety.
My colleague Dana Gunders has been exploring how, where, and why food gets wasted in America, from farm to store to table.