The federal government generally stays away from the realm of date labels, such as "Sell by" or "Use by," on packaged food, except for infant formula. The Government Accountability Office, a congressional agency, recommended on Monday that the USDA and FDA collaborate with state and local governments for greater consumer understanding of date labels as a way to reduce food waste.
The World Resources Institute released a report Thursday that shows how the world could cut food waste by 50 percent by 2030, offering findings that are in line with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Achieving that goal would save money, feed people more sustainably, and fight climate change.
A restaurant in Toronto is avoiding food waste by chopping menu prices on Sunday night until all the food it wants to sell is gone, much to the delight of its diners, reports Jonathan Bloom in FERN’s latest story, produced in partnership with NPR’s The Salt.(No paywall)
Among the 40 percent of all food thrown out is this statistic: America’s school lunch programs waste $5 million in food every day. FERN’s latest story, published with Grist, focuses on Nancy Deming of the Oakland Unified School District, a leader in the movement to cut school food waste and redirect the food to students and people in need. Here’s the main take-aways:
Private companies are stepping up to tackle food waste, a new report finds, but governments lag behind in the race to meet a United Nations goal of cutting wasted food in half by 2030. The report was compiled by a coalition of executives and leaders of private companies, non-profits, and government agencies, called Champions 12.3, that work to reduce food waste internationally.
In a study on food waste in the United States, the World Wildlife Fund found that on a specific set of farms in four states, 40 percent of tomatoes, 39 percent of peaches, 56 percent of romaine lettuce, and 2 percent of processing potatoes were left in the field rather than harvested.
Top place in the 2017 Food Sustainability Index goes to a repeat winner, France, followed by Japan, Germany, Spain, and Sweden, says the Economist Intelligence Unit.
In Tucson, the Iskashitaa Refugee Network is helping refugees heal from trauma by gleaning fruit from backyards across the city. “Iskashitaa — which means 'working cooperatively together' in Somali Bantu, the ethnicity of many early volunteers — provides more than just healthy food,” writes Jonathan Bloom in FERN’s latest story, published with NPR’s The Salt.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to encourage manufacturers to voluntarily standardize date labeling on their products in order to curb some of the 5.5 billion tons of food tossed into the state’s landfills each year.
The board of the Consumer Goods Forum, which includes 400 of the biggest goods companies in 70 countries, used Climate Week to call on foodmakers and retailers to standardize the "Sell by," "Use by" and "Best before" labels that confuse consumers and contribute to food waste. The industry "call to action" dovetails with a UN goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.