Since about 40% of food is wasted in this country and we still have over 15 million Americans going hungry every year, a new bill is being drafted to go to Congress. The bill will address different approaches by consumers, the agricultural system, restaurants, institutions, and stores. To read a short article by Civil Eats, click here.
One of the areas that will be addressed will be the “sell by” dates on packaged food. It’s unbelievable how much is thrown away in grocery stores and in homes, because it is past the date on the package. The dates are arbitrary and have no basis in testing procedures by a company. It’s like we believe the food turns to poison after that date. Do you remember when there were no dates on things like canned foods? They were fine until the seal was no longer good. If you process and can food at home, what date would you put on your product? And how about milk, if it’s past the date, do you just throw it away, without smelling it. I’ve had whole milk that was good, way past the date on the package. Also, with milk, even when it goes bad, it’s perfect for baking. You would use it like you would buttermilk. In our home, we don’t use a lot of milk, so if I think I want it for something at a much later date, I freeze it. I’m just saying that if you consider alternatives to throwing food away, it’s like giving yourself a raise!