Food News: The FoodKeeper App Launches
Tired of throwing away spoiled food? Confused by use-by dates? Well the government, specifically the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute are here to help. They've joined together to create The FoodKeeper mobile app. The app is a free download at the App Store and Google Play for Apple and Android devices.
The FoodKeeper made its debut in advance of World Health Day on April 7 as a tool for consumers, manufacturers, and retailers to know how to properly and safely store and cook food and drinks with the goal of preventing waste. It features advice on almost 500 items, including baby food, dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, produce and seafood, with storage timelines for the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. There is also advice on cooking to eliminate food-borne bacteria.
The USDA estimates that 21 percent of food in the U.S. goes uneaten at the consumer level, representing 36 pounds of food per person each month, a shocking amount given the levels of hunger in the country as well as the impacts that inefficient agriculture can have on our environment.
The FoodKeeper was originally published as a brochure in 1994, with subsequent updates, to provide food storage advice to help consumers maintain the freshness and quality of foods and use food while at its peak quality. Now it's got the convenience of a mobile app, plus there are interactive elements to make it even more useful such as a calendar that lets users monitor expiring use-by dates on specific items, safe cooking and food handling tips, storage guidelines, and a 24/7 virtual USDA representative to which you can send questions.
In a press release U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "This application will help reduce food waste by showing users how to store foods properly, and reminding them to use items before they are likely to spoil. This can help consumers save money and reduce the amount of safe food going to landfills." Amen.