Bookmarks–April 18, 2022

This week’s theme is reducing food waste, in keeping with my blog’s focus this month. 

Best before dates: everything you need to know

I’ve seen an increasing number of articles about best before dates in recent months, but these dates continue to be a source of confusion that can lead to food waste. “Best before” is not a food safety date. Many foods continue to be edible beyond that date, although some, like cereals and crackers, may start to taste stale after a while. (I tossed so much yogurt before I knew that it was safe to eat for a week or more past its best before date.) The key is proper storage and judging by your eyes and nose with foods, like yogurt, that aren’t too far past their best before date. If you notice an off smell or colour or the presence of mould, toss it. Otherwise, it is probably fine.

“In Canada, only five types of food have true expiry dates: baby formula, meal replacements or supplement bars, meal supplement drinks, formulated liquid diets and foods used in low-energy diets (the last two both require a prescription).” Second Harvest

10 creative ways to use food scraps, from pickled broccoli stems to candied lemon peels

You never know what to expect when you see an article about using food scraps, but these ideas sound really good. Candied lemon peel as a substitute for sour candy? Yes, please. We eat a ton of broccoli so I’m looking forward to trying the pickled broccoli stems too. 

“If you’re looking for ways to get creative with your food scraps, we have plenty of ideas to get you started. Here are some of the easiest—and most delicious—ways to keep waste out of the trash.”  Brightly

How waste food can reduce our reliance on natural gas

There are no easy answers when it comes to climate change and food waste. The title of this article is a little misleading because it implies that biomethane will help reduce reliance on natural gas, but then goes on to say it won’t likely work out. But it is good to see people exploring options for dealing with food waste and greenhouse gas emissions. You can’t find a solution without some experimenting and trial and error. 

Biomethane may not be a miracle fuel. There are too many complexities for that to be the case. But it is tantalising to think of how much energy we could get from waste that might otherwise pile up, decompose, and further worsen the climate crisis.” BBC

‘Smart’ packaging preserves food and enhances safety without plastic waste

Another example of experimentation that sounds promising: biodegradable and antimicrobial food packaging. I know very little about how nanotechnology works, but, as this article shows, there are some very interesting things happening in that field of study. 

“The packaging is made primarily from a type of corn protein called zein—which is produced from corn gluten meal, a waste by-product of ethanol production—and other bio-polymers that can be extracted from food waste. It contains a mesh of nanoscale fibers, which were produced through a scalable technology called electrospinning and infused with a combination of natural antimicrobial compounds including thyme oil and citric acid.” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Partnerships to reduce food waste

Rather than one article, I’m highlighting a few here that show how innovative thinking and partnerships between individuals, businesses, and non-profits can help reduce food waste. It’s exciting to see so much creativity and energy being devoted to the issue of wasted food. 

  • Partnership between Wood Buffalo Food Bank, Save On Foods and farm groups aims to cut food waste Fort McMurray Today
  • New ‘FEWD’ truck aims at reducing food waste while providing access to quality meals Guelph Today
  • App makes it easy for shops to sell end-of-day surplus, avoiding food waste Calgary Herald
  • Leftovers, “one of Canada’s largest tech-enabled food rescue organizations.” Leftovers

Books image: 150913504 © Dzhamilia Ermakova |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *