“About 40% of the food in the U.S. is wasted. That costs us money, is bad for the environment, and means people are going hungry when perfectly good food is ending up in a landfill,” Pingree said.
Pingree announced that she will introduce a bill aimed at addressing the nation’s food waste problem in homes, stores, restaurants, schools and farms. The bill would change the way expiration dates are used on products and educate the consumer about what they mean.
“A lot of people mistakenly think there is some sort of government standard for ‘best by’ dates and that you have to throw out food once the date is passed,” Pingree said in a news release. “The truth is it’s the manufacturer who comes up with those dates, and much of the time the food is perfectly safe to eat well after the date has passed.”
One option being considered is that manufactures have a disclaimer saying that these dates are just recommendations, and that the food may still be consumed after the sell by date. The “best by” or sell by” dates are a misleading form of labelling because they imply that the food is no longer good or edible.
Pingree’s bill also includes tax incentives for farmers and retailers to donate or sell bruised or imperfect produce that would have been discarded. School lunch programs would also be reformed so they could buy these imperfect fruits and vegetables.
This is a positive change Congresswoman Pinigree is trying to implement. She is created less food waste by educating the consumer, and clearing confusion from misleading labels.