The new Food Recovery Act (H.R. 3444) could become the first national food waste policy could have numerous implications for several sectors of the U.S economy.
With the new food waste policy, date labels would finally be standardized on the federal level. According to wastedive.com, under the legislation, if a labeler wants to include a “quality” label, they must use the phrase “BEST if Used By.” Any food that could expire, or would otherwise require a safety label, will need to have the phrase “USE By.” This mandated distinction will, ideally, lead to fewer consumers tossing out food if they’re unsure whether it’s safe to consume. An optional “Freeze By” label would also be permissible.
Schools would also be impacted by the legislation. Educational institutions, under the new policy, would be encouraged to buy “ugly food,” or misshapen or slightly damaged produce, for their nutritional programs. By introducing ugly food in schools, the education system would not only help combat the food waste issue, but would also expose a younger generation to accepting and eating food that may look unconventional.
Local movements have also focused on reducing food waste. Organizations in West Michigan have come together, thanks to a seed grant from the Michigan Local Food Council Network, to help the area’s food service industry reduce food waste.
The new Western Michigan Food Recovery Council will focus mainly on large grocery operations and the commercial and institutional food service operations in the area. Apparently, those groups account for about 48% of food waste sent to landfills in Michigan, according to MLive.com.
And just last week, it was announced that a new app could help with food waste in grocery stores and restaurants. The Winnow System smart meter helps restaurants measure and analyze the food they toss: it identifies the types of food they tend to throw away, collects data from an electronic scale, and tells them the value of what’s being wasted. This info could lead to improvements in a restaurant’s production processes, according to Winnow.