In response to this challenge, we are working on a call for a uniform, federal standard for date label language that is easily comprehended by consumers, and differentiates between food quality and food safety. We believe EXPIRED is central to this effort, and will be a powerful catalyst for change, offering a visual and visceral understanding of the problem, raising awareness about ways to combat it, and engaging key stakeholders in the issue.
The new 5 minute mini-documentary Expired: Food Waste in America explores why there is so much confusion as to what these expiration dates actually mean and how that leads to massive food waste.
Some states (such as the Montana example from this video) require that all milk cartons need to be marked with a date of 12 days after pasteurization, but the dairy industry standard is that milk should stay freshness for at least three weeks. Stores can’t sell or donate that milk after 12 days and toss it. Consumers at home tend to do the same. 90 percent of consumers feel that food past the ‘sell by’ date is unsafe. This fear and uncertainty lead to food waste (some estimate that about 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. goes to waste).