New Bio-based Food Labels Could Limit Waste




In the United States, 9 out of 10 people throw out food before it has expired because of the date on the package. Those dates actually don’t have anything to do with FDA regulations or food safety; they are an arbitrary indication of when manufacturers think food will be freshest. Because of this, nearly 40% of food that is bought is wasted.

Bump Mark is a new bio-based food label made with gelatin. The gelatin starts to decay as the food in the package starts to decay. If the gelatin is still smooth, consumers will know the food in the package is safe to eat but once the gelatin reveals a layer of bumps, it will be evident that the food has expired. The gelatin can be adapted to different types of food so that it breaks down faster for things that expire more quickly, like milk and meats.

Food might be good for a week or even longer after the “sell by” date. But there is a misconception that food must be thrown out if it is past that date. None of the dates are regulated by the FDA except those on infant formula packages so safe food is constantly being thrown out and landfills are starting to overflow.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a nonprofit on our slate, works towards a similar goal of reducing the amount of wasted food. In order to do this, they pick up food that would otherwise be thrown away by grocery stores, farmers markets and produce wholesalers and redistribute it to community nonprofits that feed the hungry.

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SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged donors with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater. See a list of the vetted nonprofits selected for our slate here.

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