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Food Expiration Date Confusion Causing up to 90% of Americans to Waste Food

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posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 06:28 PM
I should start saying I've been a victim of this misunderstood a few times in my life, right now this is mistake we can't afford anymore. I hope you can spend few minutes reading this information.

NEW YORK (September 18, 2013) – U.S. consumers and businesses needlessly trash billions of pounds of food every year as a result of America’s dizzying array of food expiration date labeling practices, which need to be standardized and clarified, according to a new report co-authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. One key finding from an industry-conducted survey: More than 90 percent of Americans may be prematurely tossing food because they misinterpret food labels as indicators of food safety.

Let me do the math.....90% of american is about 39,885,098,400

As of January 1, 2013, the United States had a total resident population of44 316,776,000,[1]

...and the result of that is :

Americans trash up to 40 percent of our food supply every year, equivalent to $165 billion.

Yep, embarrasing numbers...., I must say.

False Notions that Food is Unsafe – 91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the “sell by” date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicate food is unsafe to eat;
•Consumer Confusion Costs – an estimated 20 percent of food wasted in U.K. households is due to misinterpretation of date labels. Extending the same estimate to the U.S., the average household of four is losing $275-455 per year on food needlessly trashed;
•Business Confusion Costs – an estimated $900 million worth of expired food is removed from the supply chain every year. While not all of this is due to confusion, a casual survey of grocery store workers found that even employees themselves do not distinguish between different kinds of dates;
•Mass Amounts of Wasted Food – The labeling system is one factor leading to an estimated 160 billion pounds of food trashed in the U.S. every year, making food waste the single largest contributor of solid waste in the nation’s landfills.

"20 percent of food wasted in U.K", .... seems like our british brothers also have the same problem (I don't know why they included the U. K. people in this report, must be to make us feel less guilty).

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture have the power to regulate food labeling to ensure consumers are not misled, both agencies have failed to adequately exercise their authority. FDA does not require food companies to place any date labels on food products, leaving the information entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer. The only product for which a date is federally regulated is infant formula.

Food producers and retailers can begin to adopt the following recommended changes to date labels voluntarily but government steps, including legislation by Congress and more oversight by FDA and USDA, should be considered as well:
• Making “sell by” dates invisible to consumers, as they indicate business-to-business labeling information and are mistakenly interpreted as safety dates;
• Establishing a more uniform, easily understandable date label system that communicates clearly with consumers by 1) using consistent, unambiguous language; 2) clearly differentiating between safety- and quality-based dates; 3) predictably locating the date on package; 4) employing more transparent methods for selecting dates; and other changes to improve coherency;
• Increasing the use of safe handling instructions and “smart labels” that use technology to provide additional information on the product’s safety.

According to me, a conspiracy here big time. It's a circle between food manufactures, retailers and FDA. Taking advantage of our ignorance in order to make us spend more. A simple plan that works like a charm.

edit on 2-10-2013 by Trueman because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 06:48 PM

Let me do the math.....90% of american is about 39,885,098,400
As of January 1, 2013, the United States had a total resident population of44 316,776,000

There's a typo in that wikipedia article.
The US population is not over 44 billion.
Somehow, there is a "44" in that number that should not be there.
The more correct value is 316,776,000. (316 million)

edit on 2-10-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 06:55 PM
reply to post by alfa1

Thanks for that correction. I didn't pay attention I guess.

posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 07:08 PM
More food thrown away = more food sold... marketing at its finest.

Kinda like that whole "wash, rinse, repeat" thing. Hardly ever is there a need to repeat, but as soon as they added that word, they nearly doubled their sales.

posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 07:12 PM
reply to post by Trueman

I never look at food expiration dates.

I just go by taste and smell. I haven't had food poisoning in 15 years.

It's amazing how much food people throw away.

posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 07:55 PM
Acid food is good up to 6 months after the expiration date, that is because it takes the plastic out of the can liner. Base or neutral foods are good up to a year or more after the best by date. The can goods can last longer though.

Cans without an expiration date are processed the old fashioned way of heat vacuum sealing. These are good till the seal gets bad. That is about four or five years or more usually.

Always check the contents of can goods, we got in the habit of dumping the canned food in a bowl before adding it to the pot. We had a big fuzzy thing in the can one time and started to do that regularly. We ruined what we were cooking that day, tossing out a lot of ingredients because of one can of tomatoes. The tomatoes had six months yet before the BB date on the can. I have no idea what that fuzzy thing was gross.

posted on Oct, 3 2013 @ 02:54 AM
Thanks for all those replies. I used t work for a restaurant right in Times Sqare (NY) many years ago. We had the order to throw to the garbage food that wasn't sell at the end of the day. We were not allowed to take it home neither. I'm talking about food like roast beef sandwiches or special chocolate desserts. Eventually I quitted.

I think waste food is part of the american culture. Check when people eat an slice of pizza, many throw the bread at the edge where no topping are. Watch the actors in the movies, they never finish the food on the dish.

posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 11:59 PM
The conspiracy is the actual expiration date of food, which is ALSO misleading and false, in order to drive consumerism.

You don't seriously think that your highly processed and preserved food will go bad even 10% of the time by the expiration date do you? HAhahah.

Test it with pasteurized milk, go on. Leave a gallon of milk in a hot car for a few days.

Put it in the fridge.

Good as new.

I know, it happened to me, that's how I figured this scam out.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:01 AM

reply to post by Trueman

I never look at food expiration dates.

I just go by taste and smell. I haven't had food poisoning in 15 years.

It's amazing how much food people throw away.

Taste and smell doesn't work for pre-processed food.

Take salmon, you cook it and you cannot tell when it's gone bad.

But if you leave it fresh, you cannot eat it past about 10 days old, it is so bad tasting it'll make you throw up. Just an example ~.~

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