To help consumers be better stewards of their food resources, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has joined with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Cornell University’s Department of Food Science to create the FoodKeeper—a publication and online database providing information about the shelf life of food products. This year, the partners made that information even more readily available to shoppers by converting the publication into a FoodKeeper app for smartphones and tablets.
The U.S. Food Waste Challenge calls on organizations spanning the food supply chain to join the fight against food waste. In advance of World Health Day on April 7, the USDA is reaffirming its commitment to reduce food waste with the launch of a new food application.
The application offers users valuable storage advice about nearly 500 food and beverage items, including various types of baby food, dairy products and eggs, meat, poultry, produce, seafood and more. The USDA estimates that 21 percent of the available food in the U.S. goes uneaten at the consumer level. In total, 36 pounds of food per person is wasted each month at the retail and consumer levels.
The application’s features include the following:
• Specific product pages for more than 400 items, offering storage timelines for the refrigerator, freezer and pantry.
• Cooking tips for meat, poultry, seafood and egg products to ensure users prepare these products in ways that eliminate food-borne bacteria.
• Calendar integration, which allows users to enter the purchase date for products and offers notifications when products are nearing the end of their recommended storage date.
• Reduce food waste by improving product development, storage, shopping/ordering, marketing, labeling and cooking methods.
• Recover food waste by connecting potential food donors to hunger relief organizations like food banks and pantries.
• Recycle food waste to feed animals or to create compost, bio-energy and natural fertilizers.