Should The Government Do More To Prevent Excess Food Waste?
One of the leading topics in today's society is, without a doubt, food waste. The sad truth is that millions of tons of food get destroyed or spoilt each year. It's even worse when you think there are just as many starving people in the world!
You might think that food companies have a big role to play in reducing food waste. But, the government also has a say, considering we elect the people that run our country! Many critics have long argued that the government isn't doing enough to tackle the issue.
So, should the government be doing more? Perhaps one inspirational story from recent media is that of the French government. They have decided to make it illegal for supermarkets to throw away unsold food. Here are some ideas of what our government should be doing:
Follow France's lead
Perhaps the biggest step to reducing food waste in the country is by following France's lead. Outlawing the destruction by supermarkets of otherwise edible food is a good first step. Supermarkets can work with local charities to supply food to the homeless and needy.
That means fewer people in the country have to die because of starvation. Especially during the harsher winter months of the year. It also means unsold food will get consumed quicker as there's little to no transport needed.
Give more tax incentives to food manufacturers
It's no secret that food companies often have excess products laying around in warehouses. Sure, some of those items may have long shelf lives. But, there will be times where even they don't get consumed in time.
Those food producers are reluctant to spend more money donating the food. Especially if they've paid a lot of taxes on the items they've sold already. Not to mention the costs associated with producing the foods they sell.
The government should consider offering more tax incentives to food manufacturers. The PATH Act has gone some way to doing that already by offering tax deductions on food donated to charities. It's something works well. Especially given the results shown by this PATH Act food donation calculator.
But, they should get more tax incentives to encourage less food waste. For instance, tax deductions on transport costs would be a good idea.
Introduce a food waste program to businesses
Believe it or not, some firms don't realize the profound effects they have by wasting food. For instance, cafeterias adopting a poor stock management system that means they overstock food.
Other businesses like catering firms are also guilty of wasting food. Especially when it comes to organizing food for special events. The government should introduce a food waste program for industry. Doing so will educate businesses on the problems associated with food waste.
Remove the "best before" dates on fresh food
The government could also enforce the removal of best before dates on fresh food. People tend to know when fruit and vegetables aren't suitable for consuming. But, what often happens is those items are still fresh past their best before dates.
By removing those dates, consumers keep hold of their fruit and vegetables for longer. Almost everyone has a refrigerator at home or in the workplace. They help to keep food fresh for longer.
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