Dates that Waste By and Best By, two dates causing lots of food waste in the world. A recent scientific paper by the Institute of Food and Technologies (IFT) showed that lack of proper education causes the USA to chuck a yearly supply of food worth $161.6 billion. Considering the economic and environmental strains faced by our planet, this is a cost we can’t afford.

On average, 25% of consumers thrown food after its “sell by” date, which is suggested by a manufacturer as the date by which to sell their product. Another 10% of consumers believe that eating something after it’s “best by” date could cause a health scare, which isn’t accurate. In Europe, considering landfill space constraints, government officials have discussed scrapping these confusing dates from products.

If you fall under one of these categories or would like to get better informed, then be sure to read various studies, including this report prepared by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and the Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. The latest report analyzes current pitfalls of our labeling system and suggests solutions for the future. Knowledge and information is power. With the right tools and the right mindset, we can tackle our most difficult environmental problems.

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