May 17, 2016 • By

Let’s reduce confusion and reduce food waste

Food waste is a monumental problem. In the United States alone, about 60 million tons of food waste is generated every year. Worldwide, about one third of all the calories produced a year – 1.3 billion tons of food – are wasted.

At General Mills, we are working hard to reduce waste by improving our production, supporting rescue efforts to help feed hungry people, and finding alternatives for waste.

Reducing food waste isn’t easy as it occurs all along the food value chain. It requires engagement from more than 300 million of us in the U.S. food system and from food companies, restaurants, retailers, farmers, and consumers.

And the solutions are as equally complex.

None of us wants to waste food. But according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), ninety percent of us throw away food too soon and twenty percent of the food we buy never gets eaten.

That means that each one of us tosses nearly 300 pounds of food away every year.

But why?

Research shows that one of the reasons that people throw away food is that they are confused about what “Sell By” or “Best By” date labels mean. And, to add to the confusion, these labels are not consistent from state-to-state or even manufacturer-to-manufacturer.

That’s why today we are announcing our support for national standardization of food date labeling.

This makes sense for our consumers, and we are hopeful that it can ultimately help reduce food waste by preventing perfectly good food from going to the landfill.

For over a decade, we’ve used standardized labels across our portfolio.

Working with Congress, our peers in the food industry and with retailers, we are hopeful that we can come up with a national standardized date labeling system that will eliminate confusion for consumers and reduce waste.

Standardizing date labels is just one part of solving the complex problem of food waste. But doing so represents a big opportunity, and we support Congress in working towards that goal.

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