How many food products go to waste each year?
Every day #discount stores, supermarkets and even local groceries around the world throw away thousands of food products due to their expiration date. Fortunately, there is an increased awareness about this heart-sickening issue and many #governments are thinking about the best way to #recycle the expired food.
French #supermarkets, for instance, are now banned from trashing out-of-date food and instead donate them to organisations dedicated to animal feeding or to the fertiliser industry. "The image of bleach bottles scattered over edible or recyclable food is an outrage!" said former-Minister Guillaume Garot, to the France Presse.
According to the French #Ecology Ministry, 45 lbs. of food products are wasted per person per year in #France, but this is in fact a global issue as the latest Food and #Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report states that a third of all edible products produced globally are bluntly discarded every year...
There are a great number of products that can still be used past the expiration date if properly stored; so here is a helpful guide from the LA Times:
Meat: If you freeze it, it will give the meat around a 50% longer shelf life.
Canned goods: Keep the cans in a cool, dark area to extend — and in some instances, double — the shelf life.
Eggs: Men’s Health nutrition expert Alan Aragon suggests doing a float test for the eggs. If you put an egg in a bowl of water and it floats, it means gases have built up in the shell, and it's not safe to eat. If it sinks, you're good to go.
Pasta: Since it's a dry, hard product, it won't spoil easily. You can use it past the expiration date, just make sure it doesn't smell funny.
Bread: Bread will keep in the freezer past the expiration date as long as you don't spot any mold.
Fresh fruits and vegetables: Use common sense with fruits and vegetables. Check if it's mushy, moldy or has an "off" smell.
Frozen food: These products will keep long after the expiration date, but if we're talking meat, the expiration period will usually only extend by 50%.
Packaged greens. It's OK to eat the lettuce if it's wilting, just not decaying. Food safety expert Ted Labuza suggests soaking the lettuce in ice water for 10 minutes.
Dry goods (crackers, corn chips): Check if the chips or crackers are stale. You can try crisping them in the toaster oven. But if they smell odd, throw them away.
Milk: Labuza says pasteurized milk will keep 50% longer if you store it at a lower temperature. Try storing at the back of the fridge rather than the fridge door.