A Sunday, June 26, 2016 article from The Guardian asks “Can Walmart’s food labels make a dent in America’s $29bn food waste problem?”
The article, written by Twilight Greenaway, looks at Walmart’s efforts to reduce food waste through the use of standardized labels for their private label “Great Value.” All products in the line are required to use the label “best if used by,” which was found to be the best label to indicate a potential change in quality but not food safety after surveying Walmart shoppers.
Emily Broad Leib, director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, spoke to The Guardian about the clinic’s long history of raising awareness of the issue of confusing date labels.
“Broad Leib has considered confusing date labels as one of the “biggest components of household food waste” since she was approached by former Trader Joe CEO Doug Rauch four years ago to help him maneuver a series of legal hurdles to start Daily Table, a retail company that specialized in excess or overstocked from grocery stores, food suppliers, manufacturers, restaurants and growers sold at a discounted price.
She would like the government to set clear policies, such as a list of prepared foods – think unpasteurized dairy and deli meats – from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture that do need the “expired on” label. She is already working with federal lawmakers to address the lack of standards for date labeling: a bill introduced by Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) in May aims to create the same changes that are taking place at Walmart.”