All food in larger supermarkets are supposed have “sell before” dates printed on them so the stores can’t sell the expired food past a certain date, but this means that any unsold food must be thrown away and wasted.
Not only is this a huge waste of food, but some of it often isn’t even bad to eat. For example, sealed food that isn’t meat, eggs, dairy, or other perishables, such as canned or bagged food often has a shelf life much longer than that of the “sell before” date printed on it.
Many vegetables, meats, and other products sold in supermarkets are also still good past the "sell by" date so long as it is frozen afterwards, or stored properly.
France will be combatting this waste of food with a new law it’s passing that requires any unsold food that is still edible to be donated to local charities and food banks to be used. Supermarkets will also not be allowed to spoil food on purpose to prevent the food from being eaten.
“Most importantly, because supermarkets will be obliged to sign a donation deal with charities, we’ll be able to increase the quality and diversity of food we get and distribute,” said Jacques Bailet, a head of a chain of food banks called Banques Alimentaires in France. “In terms of nutritional balance, we currently have a deficit of meat and a lack of fruit and vegetables. This will hopefully allow us to push for those products.”
As noted by Bailet, this new influx of food for food banks means that those who can't afford to buy a full meal will live healthier lives because they'll get the vitamins and minerals they need from food that would otherwise be destroyed. Any supermarkets that are found not to comply with the new law will face fine penalties.
This not only solves the problem of using edible food that would otherwise be wasted, but also gives to the less fortunate who are having trouble affording to eat on a daily basis. Food banks are happy to accept the new food to use it quickly before it expires.
France is the first country of any to enact such a law, and it’s one that could be useful around the world to help with the world hunger problem, so the world should take some notes on this idea.
Source: The Guardian