In my May 1, 2016 blog, I informed you that the US federal government is working to have a fifty percent (50%) reduction in food waste by 2030. They were further along than I expected because, on May 18, 2016, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced legislation to assist this initiative – (The Food Date Labeling Act of 2016). The purpose of this legislation is to establish a uniform national date labeling system. This is an effort to reduce confusion, on the “sell by, best by and use by” dates that are on the food we purchase. This legislation will simplify regulatory compliance for companies, reduce food waste and save money on our grocery bills.
We are excited about this bill to educate consumers on reducing food waste, but the congressional gridlock could stall this bill. In the interim, there are corporations that are very conscientious about food waste. These corporations are working to change or alleviate food waste. For example, the Las Vegas hospitality industry is committed to food recovery. Rather than endless array of buffets decomposing in our landfills, this food is being utilized at hog farms. The Aria Hotel and Casino is leading the way. They recovered 7 million pounds of leftover food. Another big contributor to food waste is imperfect produce. Walmart is launching a pilot program in Florida to sale the ugly apples at a discounted price rather than throwing it away.
Reducing food waste is not a complicated problem, however, it will take commitment from everyone to reduce food waste. The Food Date and Labeling Bill will teach us how. If we can recycle aluminum, glass and plastics, surely we can recycle food that will benefit hungry people and protect our environment for future generations.