Bad Laws Contribute to Food Waste Problems


This has been one of my all time pet peeves. The state dictates that grocery stores and restaurants cannot give away unused / unsold food to the homeless or to homeless shelters. 

We’re talking perfectly good food (day-old bread, etc). 

Food policy expert Baylen Linnekin weighs in on the complicated issue of food waste. Though governments frequently express concern about food ending up in the trash rather than being consumed, it’s often their own laws and regulations that are to blame:

A new report released this month by Harvard Law School’s Food Law & Policy Clinic, Opportunities to Reduce Food Waste in the 2018 Farm Bill, proposes—as its title suggests—several ways that Congress can help reduce food waste. Among the report’s suggestions is that Congress authorize a study to look at ways that USDA produce-grading rules promote food waste.

As the recommendations indicates, law and regulations are a key ingredient in perpetuating our food-waste mess.

“[H]idden behind many of these government campaigns to reduce food waste is the frequent cause of that food waste: other government regulations,” I wrote last year. “Much of our wasted food isn’t due to the excesses or carelessness of individuals and food companies. Rather, it’s often caused by idiotic and outrageous rules that force us to waste food.”

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