Food waste is a major concern affecting every individual on the globe. It is estimated that in developed nations, the worst offender being the United States, nearly 40% of perfectly edible food is tossed into the trash because consumers aware unaware the expiration date is more of a ‘peak freshness’ label.
In effect, 1/3 of the food produced on this planet is wasted, while 795 million individuals still go to bed hungry each night.
This is a conundrum, and it needs to be remedied – fast.
Earlier this year France did its part to lessen food waste by banning supermarkets from purposely wasting good fare – as many stores do. Instead, the stores must donate any ‘expired’ foods and help the less fortunate.
A British supermarket chain is now following its lead. By December 2015, 150 of Marks & Spencer’s biggest stores will donate any extraneous products that are nearing their expiration dates. The company announced in a press release last Friday that its ultimate goal is to reduce food waste by 20% in the next five years.
Huff Post reports that the program is feeding people in need, cutting back on waste, and is also combating misunderstanding with regard to what expiration dates on food items actually mean.
Typically, ‘use by’ dates just indicate when a product has reached its “peak,” but don’t necessarily mean the food has spoiled at that time, Time reported in 2013. This is especially the case for packaged goods which don’t require refrigeration.
Marks & Spencer plans on doling out fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes, and groceries. By spring, all of its stores will be involved in the program, according to the release.
The initiative should be adopted by every grocery store to lessen food waste and ensure every individual on the planet is fed. Agree or disagree?
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