Anti-Food Waste Coalition Aims to Help Economy, Environment and the Hungry

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Government agencies and major industry associations have announced a plan to halve food waste in the U.S. by 2030. Debbie Meyer, co-CEO of Housewares America and the inventor of Debbie Meyer Food Fresh Technology[TM], hails the initiative as a long-needed step to help save the environment and reduce losses faced by merchants—and that current technologies already exist to curb the waste.

Debbie Meyer is co-CEO of Housewares America and the inventor of Debbie Meyer Food Fresh Technology[TM].

Debbie Meyer underscores the need for drastic industry-wide changes to curb global food waste.

"It’s up to all of us in the industry to help them find and disseminate workable solutions to cut down on this extraordinary amount of food waste.”

In late October, three major U.S. government agencies as well as trade associations for the food manufacturing, grocery and restaurant industries announced their new partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. Their goal? To cut food waste in half by 2030. Partners in the coalition include: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture (DOA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the founders of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance—the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association [1]. “These are the right people,” says food technology expert Debbie Meyer, “and they understand the problem. It’s up to all of us in the industry to help them find and disseminate workable solutions to cut down on this extraordinary amount of food waste.”

Food waste, notes Meyer, is a global issue. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), some 14 percent of all food produced in the world is lost annually, with central and southern Asia, North America and Europe accounting for the largest shares of total waste [2]. Food waste, as it goes into landfills, is also a contributor to greenhouse gas production and thus to climate change. According to FAO figures, if food waste were a country, it would have the third largest greenhouse footprint in the world, behind China and the U.S.[4].

One cause of American food waste, Meyer notes, may be the widespread misunderstanding generated by a bewildering array of non-standardized expiration date labels. A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic suggested that more than 90 percent of Americans may be prematurely discarding food because they misunderstand the “best by” dates as an indication of food safety [5].

Grocers are frustrated with unclear expiration label practices as well, as it causes them to run through products and lose money due to picky shopper preferences. One grocery store owner went so far as to eat expired foods for a year to prove that they’re not the sole indicator of food safety [6]. Despite his commendable efforts to help reduce the food waste crisis, Meyer says, eating expired products is not a viable solution for consumers, especially considering that nearly half of total food waste takes place before the products even reach the store [7].

Keeping fresh produce fresh longer is a major problem and a growing challenge in the world today. Meyer asserts that there is available technology and procedures to extend the life and freshness of food even before it even reaches the shelves. This technology is proven to extend the life of fresh produce and baked goods, for instance, in the home environment and can be widely applied in all phases of food preservation from field to table and beyond.

In some parts of the world, she notes, the waste seen in transit is because there is simply not enough cold storage capacity at crucial points in the supply chain [2]. Where cold storage is widely available, as it is in the U.S., and even in emerging countries, where preservation needs and proper food packaging and storage is badly needed, this technology can play a major role in reducing waste and extending usable life of food.

“While my company first introduced the Debbie Meyer Food Fresh Technology[TM] for use in the individual home and kitchen,” says Meyer, “we have developed ways it can be implemented at various steps in the production process, including delivery and grocery display, to extend the life of food. By naturally prolonging the ripeness and attractiveness of produce, grocers can sell more, waste less, and better serve—and retain—their customers. Together, as an industry, we can seriously reduce waste, improve our businesses, and make the world a better place. It’s a win-win.”

About DEBBIE MEYER® and Housewares America:
Housewares America, Inc. was co-founded by Debbie and her husband, Neville Meyer, and operates successfully on a unique business model created by them. Housewares America markets the DEBBIE MEYER® line of products in all areas of consumer demand, including home-shopping networks, regular retail, catalogs TV and internet. The Debbie Meyer brand is highly successful in the United States, and Internationally. The newest advancement on the existing DEBBIE MEYER® consumer products in the marketplace is specifically formulated for commercial and industrial use, to be incorporated into packaging for the retail marketplace. Debbie Meyer CZZ[TM] is a ground breaking, all natural, advancement in the science of keeping foods fresh longer, extending shelf life and reducing spoilage—extending usable life from field to table. The technology is independent laboratory tested, conducted by Nova Biologicals, Inc. (an FDA and EPA, GLP Microbiology Laboratory) for efficacy and proven to work as claimed.

Debbie, known as the "Home Problem Solver™ and The Original Green Lady™ is an inventor and entrepreneur and holds many patents. Her many successful products are a testament to her ability to identify with and meet the needs of millions of people. Visit her at http://www.debbiemeyer.com

1.    “USDA, EPA, and FDA partner with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance,” Institute of Food Technologists, October 30, 2019.
2.    de Souza, Agnieszka, “The World Loses $400 Billion of Food Before It Reaches Stores,” Bloomberg, October 14, 2019.
3.    Moyler, Hunter, “FDA, EPA, USDA Join with Restaurants and Grocery Stores to Halve US Food Waste by 2030,” Newsweek, October 31, 2019.
4.    “Carbon Footprint from Food Waste Bigger than Most Countries’,” Greenbiz. September 13, 2013.
5.    Wei, Jackie, “New Report: Food Expiration Date Confusion Causing up to 90% of Americans to Waste Food,” Natural Resources Defense Council, September 18, 2013.
6.    Karolefski, John. “Why You Should Eat Expired Food.” Grocerystories, Grocery Stories, 31 Oct. 2019, http://www.grocerystories.com/single-post/2019/10/31/Why-You-Should-Eat-Expired-Food.
7.    Pomranz, Mike, “Nearly Half of Food Waste Happens Before It Reaches the Market,” Food and Wine, October 15, 2019.
8.    Grinstead, Dale, and Jordan, Chris, “Containing Food Waste Through Food Storage,” Food Quality & Safety, September 5, 2017.

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