The Problem of Food Waste


We have an abundance of food. The tragedy is that we throw away — waste — so much of it. One reason is that we are often unthinking slaves to the maze of “best by,” “use by, and “expiration” dates.

For certain foods (e.g., deli salads, fresh meat and poultry, fresh fish, dairy products), there is a safety issue. But for many shelf-stable items — such as mustard — there is no safety issue and the product does not deteriorate in quality when it reaches the date on the jar.

Case in point: we have about a case of the wonderful Tracklement’s Piccalilli, the English mustard-based pickled vegetable condiment, and the jars have a best by date of September 2014. It’s wonderful now and will be wonderful for months to come, even longer. As a mustard aficionado, you owe it to yourself to try it. We’ll even put it on sale — reg. $10.00, on sale for $7.00.

To learn more about food waste in America, watch this interview with Harvard’s Emily Broad Leib:
IAFP Interview: Leib on Expiration Dates and Food Waste