This first article is inspired by a very good student presentation at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany and an article from the Greenpeace magazine (Jan/Feb 2020). To all eco-interested people; this is not surreptitious advertising: I can very much recommend the Greenpeace magazine as well as the conference week at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg which is open to everybody and where experts from all over the world give fruitful presentations, keynote speeches and students present the projects they worked on during the winter semester. It is a great environment to get access to new ideas about sustainable developments and visions for the future.
This article highlights food waste.
When do you throw something away?
- If it becomes wrinkly?
- If it’s moldy?
- If it doesn’t smell good anymore?
- If the use-by date has passed?
If you belong to the second category, I can only affirm this behavior, except you live in France and have a great mold cheese in your cupboard which is really not supposed to be in the fridge (yes, a lot of cheeses in France should stay outside the fridge as they get even better/more moldy at room temperature – what a delight!).
If you belong to the last category, I can only say: Please don’t!! The aversion not to eat something anymore because the use-by date has passed, is mainly a psychological phenomenon. The smart student group at the University in Lüneburg found out that many food items are still eatable long after their expiry date.
But: How long AFTER the use-by date can I still consume certain foods?
Juice: 28 days!! (= 4 weeks)
Pasta: 1 year (there is really no use-up date for pasta, from 1
year on certain foods just last VERY long)
Flour: same as for pasta
Cereals: 2 months (isn’t that great? What do you eat in the morning
in case you forgot to shop for groceries? Right!),
Cans: see pasta & flour = generally eternally or depending on their
state respectively (!)
Eggs: 21 days (= 3 weeks)
Cheese: 21 days (= 3 weeks)
Jam: 6 months (unfortunately I still manage to get it moldy,
shame on me. Dear family members, friends and roommates: please
DON’T give me jam as a present anymore)
Meat: 5 days (well, at least)
Milk: 2 days
On a yearly basis, 10 million tons of food are thrown away in Germany without a good reason (because they are still eatable).
They produce 22 million tons of greenhouse gases.
And this uses up 2.6 million hectares of land.
Therefore 45 million chicken,
4 million pigs
and 230.000 cattle are being slaughtered FOR NOTHING.
Greenpeace magazine (Jan/Feb 2020) suggests: Transform your “use-up”-date to a “best before date” = “it is certainly still good until” (and very likely even longer…)
We could surely still do something with that: