German Agriculture and Food Minister Cem Özdemir wants the European Commission to review labeling rules to combat food waste.
A radical measure against waste that could upset some consumers. Across the Rhine, Agriculture and Food Minister Cem Özemir is campaigning for the removal of best before dates (DLC) on certain products in order to reduce food waste. Every year, a German throws away an average of 80 kilos of food, a figure that rises to 130 kilos on a European scale. The member of the German government therefore wants the European Commission to address the issue at community level and propose binding rules on labeling, as indicated France Inter.
A measure that raises divergent opinions among Germans interviewed on the radio. If some already admit not paying attention to the expiration date for certain products or rely on their own senses to determine the consumability of a product, others attach great importance to it and do not consume any product whose expiration date has already expired.
Rice, pasta and honey, but also lentils, tea or spices
Among the products that could be the target of such a measure, the professor of food chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden, Thomas Henle, cites “very dry foods with little water”, such as rice, pasta or honey. “As long as the packages are closed, they can theoretically be stored without a time limit”, explains the expert to France Inter. For example, we discovered honey in ancient amphorae that were thousands of years old and this honey was, in theory, still edible.”
Lentils, tea or spices that can be stored for a long time away from light and moisture can also be considered removing the expiration date.
“The expiration date is a kind of quality guarantee for manufacturers and has nothing to do with health aspects.”
The academic specifies that the DLC ultimately indicates “the period during which manufacturers guarantee the quality, that is, the taste, smell and appearance of food”: “When this date is exceeded, this does not mean that food is no longer available. consumable, but its quality has possibly changed. As a general rule, it remains consumable, without major health risks.”