Friday Buffet

The Wall Street Journal: Hotels are doing their best to cut costs, including food waste, as the economy struggles. You think?

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As I’ve previously written, my favorite Japanese word is Mottainai!

— —photo by Jonathan Bloom

8 things you should know about expiration dates, courtesy of me, via Culinate.

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The Laziest Man on Earth suggests a humorous way to prevent food waste (see #2).

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At least one inaugural ball composted food waste. Would you guess the Green Inaugural Ball? Anyone see food recovery or composting efforts at another ball?

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Damn, newspapers like running this story! Nice work, Addie.

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  1. Posted January 23, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    This is the text of a guide put out by our local food bank regarding the same subject as your linked article on this blog post. I think I may adopt your guidelines as part of my packet of information that I distribute to retailers.
    Peace and Love,

    Understanding Container Dates

    Key Messages:
    • Dates on Food Give You Information on Quality
    • The Appearance and Condition of Food Tell You about Safety

    ASSURANCE” DATE: The last date the
    product is likely to be at top flavor and quality. You will probably find these dates on foods such
    as cereal, which may lose flavor and quality. It doesn’t mean the food is unsafe after that

    “SELL BY” or “PULL” DATE: This date is for food stores. It shows the last day on which the
    item should be sold. It takes into account time for the food to be stored and used at home. You
    should buy the item before the date, but you don’t have to use it by then. Fresh milk, for
    example, usually keeps its taste for up to 7 days past the sell-by date.

    PACK OR PACKAGE DATE: This is the date the food was packed and processed. You can tell
    which package is fresher and choose that one. A pack date isn’t an indication of safety.
    “EXPIRATION” DATE: For most foods, this indicates the last date on which they should be
    eaten or used. Eggs are an exception: if you buy federally graded eggs before the expiration
    date, you should be able to use them safely for the next 3-5 weeks. (The Food Bank often
    receives extensions on expiration dates for cheeses and other dairy products- the extension is
    usually one month).

    CODED DATE: A series of letters or numbers or both used by the manufacturer to track
    foods across state lines and, if necessary, recall them. The code is useful to you when there
    is a food recall.

  2. Posted January 25, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Now THAT’S a great interview!

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    The Non-Consumer Advocate

    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

  3. Larissa Powers
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    This is a fantastic and informative blog! I’m a science and sustainability teacher for 8th grade students in St. Louis, MO and I’ve posted a link to your blog in our Sustainability Project Wiki. The students will be working on major whole-term projects starting in March and I am hoping that at least one group will take on food waste as a project. I expect they will find your blog as interesting as I did. Thanks for writing!

  4. Posted January 28, 2009 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Wow, that’s really cool Ms. Powers. I wish I had a sustainability teacher when I was in 8th grade. Let me know if a group chooses food waste for their project. I might even be willing to give them a guest post…provided they get a good grade.

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