Ever since she was a little girl, Rep. Chellie Pingree was taught by her mother that there is no such thing as food waste. Furthermore, anything from the refrigerator, expired or not, could still be used for something else.
For example, a stale strawberry could be used in cooking a pie or sour milk could fit into a biscuit. But in Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s house, the story is different. Therefore, Blumenthal and Pingree decided to make a collaboration to fight against the classic domestic dispute about what is best to do if your food expired.
The congresswoman has run a restaurant in her native town, Maine, so she knows how to deal with this issue. Pingree and the Connecticut senator, both Democrats, made their plan official on Wednesday regarding the introduction of new legislation in each chamber which will have the purpose of regulating the type of food labeling the industry uses, to establish when foods are not edible any longer.
After being questioned by many food industry experts, Blumenthal and Pingree explained that the law project will use only the label “best if used by” on some products and “expires on” for others.
According to Emily Broad Leib, director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, the list of what type of products would go into which category is still not determined yet.
However, “expires on” labels will probably include the type of prepared food that people don’t usually cook and deli meats. The other category of foods will be labeled as “best if used by”.
The bill will also target food waste as people should not discard perfectly good food when they could just eat it or donate to the poor. Plus, this law will also prevent the donation of some products after a certain time.
The Connecticut senator lives in two places, like many other members of Congress. Therefore, he explained that he always leaves behind some good food that in the meanwhile has gone bad. Then, the first question would be whether to throw away to the whole hunk of cheese or just cut out the bad part.
It depends on each one of us to decide what is the best thing to do in this situation but, if possible, we should always try to avoid food waste.