Tell American supermarkets to stop using confusing date labels that cause food waste

In building our Feeding the 5000 campaign in the US, we developed a four-course menu of actions to take #FoodWaste #OffTheMenu. Our first course in this pledge is for simple date labels that don’t confuse people into throwing away food unnecessarily. On Monday July 18, we launched a petition to make this happen in the US, as part of Huffington Post’s #Reclaim campaign.

The one missing ingredient is a resounding public voice creating a mandate for this common-sense reform.

The US has seen a lot of noise on date label reform lately. See this article in the Economist, this video by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, and this article about our petition in Huffington Post. In addition to this increased awareness, concrete action is in the works on various fronts:

– Walmart has asked its private brand suppliers to adopt a standardized date label for all foods that do not require date labels for safety reasons.

– There are moves to pass federal legislation on this bipartisan issue of standardizing date labels to clear up the confusion

– Behind the scenes, the two key industry groups on this issue – the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute – have organized a working group with experts from manufacturing and retail companies to develop a voluntary industry standard for date labels.

We’re excited by all this noise and action. The one missing ingredient is a resounding public voice creating a mandate for this common-sense reform. Our hope is that this petition helps create this public mandate.

Help us promote the petition by tweeting

We’ve put together some sample tweets:

Supermarkets’ confusing date labels cause #FoodWaste. Take it #OffTheMenu with simpler #DateLabels change.org/datelabels

Sell by, best before, use by, consume by — no one agrees what these phrases mean. Reduce #FoodWaste, confusion change.org/datelabels

Support @Feedbackorg #reclaim petition calling for simpler #DateLabels to reduce #FoodWaste change.org/datelabels

Please also tweet @ the supermarkets themselves, especially if you are their customer:

What is the weirdest, silliest date labels that you can find?

Seen an especially weird, silly, or downright comical date label? Please email it to us or hit us up on instagram or Twitter.

But most importantly, please share and sign the petition

Petition sign now