Friday, September 20, 2013
Study: Americans Waste 160 Billion Tons Of Food Over Expiration Dates
“The dates are undefined in law and have nothing to do with safety,” said Emily Broad Leib, lead author of the study, titled The Dating Game, and director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. “They are just a manufacturer suggestion of peak quality.”
Leib researched how manufacturers set the dates on their food products, discovering that some manufacturers conduct taste tests that will factor into the expiration date.
“[Manufacturers are] picking dates that are really protective over their brand, which is fine,” Leib said. “It’s just important for consumers to know that.”
The study looked at rates of waste, finding that 90% of consumers throw they food away on the sell by date. Leib said consumers are unaware that these dates are not necessarily linked with food safety. As a result, about 160 billion tons of food are wasted every year. Read more >>