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Overhauling our date-labeling system is a straightforward, concrete solution that will reduce food waste.

We need a reliable, coherent, and uniform food-dating system that provides useful guidance to consumers.

My colleague Dana Gunders has been exploring how, where, and why food gets wasted in America, from farm to store to table.The words on date labels should have a standard definition across the country and across products.Labels should clearly differentiate between safety-based and quality-based dates.We waste four percent of our oil producing, transporting, and packaging food that never gets eaten.Food is the single biggest item in our landfills and a source of the powerful global-warming pollutant methane.

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