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Emily Broad Leib

  • What The US Can Learn From UK Supermarket Donating Unsold Food

    March 21, 2016

    One of the U.K.’s — and the world’s — biggest grocery store chains announced big news on the food waste front this month. In the coming months, Tesco, which boasts some 6,800 stores worldwide but is headquartered in England, will expand its 14-store trial run of an initiative that saved the equivalent of 50,000 meals worth of food from heading to a landfill, donating that food, instead, to charity groups...Emily Broad Leib, director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, says that is because the U.S. has arrived at the issue later than countries like France and the U.K., where efforts to address the issue have gotten a significant head start on the U.S. and are, just now, coming to fruition. Still, Leib noted, Americans are making significant progress. “I do think it’s on the radar of more and more stores,” Leib told The Huffington Post.

  • Using your smartphone to find out if your milk has gone bad

    March 10, 2016

    How do you decide if your milk is fresh enough to drink? You might be one of the many Americans who relies on sell-by dates to determine when to throw it out. But it turns out we could be dumping perfectly good milk...“Basically, around 90% of people throw food away when that date arrives, either always, or most of the time, or occasionally,” says Emily Broad Leib, director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. Leib says what most people don’t know is those sell-by dates have no standard meaning. They vary by state and even by company.

  • New Documentary Exposes How Montana’s Milk-Expiration Rules Waste Food

    February 28, 2016

    Earlier this month, an excellent, short new documentary debuted. It focuses on one type of state laws that senselessly promote food waste. The documentary, Expired? Food Waste in America, is produced by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and Racing Horse Productions. It uses the clear shortcomings of a mandatory Montana milk-expiration-date law as a hook to illustrate broader problems with state food expiration-date mandates..."Out of state dairies often can't get milk to the store quickly enough for it to be put on the shelf in time to be sold (since consumers want milk with at least a few days on it), so many out-of-state dairies are no longer selling in Montana," says Harvard Law School Prof. Emily Broad Leib, one of the film's producers, in an email to me this week. "According to local advocates, milk in Montana also costs a lot more than milk in surrounding states."

  • Still from the film showing a group of people in professional attire sitting together at a table

    Food Law and Policy Clinic releases short film on food waste in America

    February 12, 2016

    The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), in partnership with Racing Horse Productions, has released a short film, "EXPIRED? Food Waste in America," that explores how the variety of date labels on food products contributes to food waste in America.

  • Cry: Thousands of gallons of milk are poured down the drain every year, thanks to US state laws

    February 12, 2016

    An op-ed by Emily Broad Leib. Glug, glug, glug… That’s the sound of milk being poured down the drain in Montana. Montana wastes untold amounts of milk every day due to an outdated law that requires a “sell by” date of 12 days after pasteurization and prohibits sale or donation after that date. This date is completely arbitrary, especially when compared to the industry standard for date labeling on milk—generally 21-24 days after pasteurization. Even more shocking, the date label on milk, like on most foods, is generally meant to indicate quality rather than its safety. Because pasteurization kills any harmful pathogens, milk is safe and generally still good well past the date. Montana’s is just one of many US state laws that cause confusion and massive amounts of waste. Even if food makes it to a home, more than 90% of Americans report that they mistake those quality dates labels for safety indicators, and subsequently throw away food that is still completely safe to eat. Confusion over date labels is a major contributor to the 160 billion pounds of food wasted each year in the US.

  • Is that milk past its ‘sell by’ date? Drink it anyway.

    February 11, 2016

    An op-ed by Emily Broad Leib. My father used to keep food in the refrigerator for days, even weeks after the “best by” date, so long as it looked and smelled OK. My mom, by contrast, went out to buy a new carton of milk as soon as the date passed. Often there would be two containers of milk in our refrigerator: the half-empty one my dad was committed to finishing, and the new one my mom had purchased, out of fear that she might get sick if she drank my dad's past-date milk.

  • Food Law Clinic urges Congress to continue progress towards making nutritious meals available to all children

    January 15, 2016

    The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic has released a policy brief about changes to the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act (CNR) that can support healthy school meals by preserving advances in nutrition standards, increasing participation in national school programs, and increased funding for reimbursable meals, farm to school grants, and kitchen equipment grants.

  • People standing talking in a grocery store

    Summit convenes future leaders in the emerging field of food law and policy

    December 11, 2015

    Participants in a recent gathering at Harvard Law School are hoping to spark the growth of a nationwide student network for making significant contributions to the emerging field of food law and policy.

  • Food waste bill introduced

    December 9, 2015

    Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Me.) introduced a bill in Congress aimed at reducing the amount of food that is wasted each year in the United States. The Food Recovery Act includes nearly two dozen provisions to reduce food waste across the economy....Emily Broad Leib, director of Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, said Pingree's bill tackles an important problem with the nation's food supply. “Food waste is one of the most pressing environmental and economic issues facing our food system, yet so much of the food we waste could go to better use in our households or shared with people in need. This groundbreaking legislation offers assistance to farmers and retailers, supports food recovery organizations, and helps consumers by clarifying the senseless date labels that appear on foods. It thus achieves many of the goals our clinic has advocated over the past few years and we are thrilled to work in support of its passage," Broad Leib said.

  • Wanted: Climate change solutions

    October 23, 2015

    Harvard is fertilizing a new crop of ideas to combat climate change. The Climate Change Solutions Fund will award grants of up to $150,000 each to stoke ideas for creative climate-related work in business, design, policy, public health, and the sciences. It was launched last year with $1 million from the office of President Drew Faust, who challenged alumni and friends to assist in raising $20 million for the fund as one pillar of a broader campaign to support the energy and environment...“This funding was a total game-changer for us,” said Emily Broad Leib, assistant clinical professor of law and deputy director of the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, who was awarded a grant to reduce food waste. Leib has been able to make time for efforts to raise awareness of the issue through media appearances and by working with her students to make a short documentary about state expiration-date policies and the need for change at the federal level.

  • Salad Days: Professor Jacob Gersen on the rise of food law

    September 29, 2015

    Harvard Law School Professor Jacob Gersen believes the ever-growing interest in food law is here to stay—and that it, like environmental law and administrative law before it, will eventually go from course-catalog novelty to staple.

  • States crack down on food waste

    September 8, 2015

    ...The organization that Adam and Don work for, Food for Free, is one of a few in Boston seeking to solve two of America’s major problems at once: We have a lot of unwanted food that goes to waste, and a lot of people who go hungry...This law seems like it should be a fantastic opportunity for food rescue operations like Food for Free. But it might not work out that way. “I think the one weakness is the laws don’t really incentivize you donating the food as opposed to, say, composting it or sending it to the anaerobic digester,” says Emily Broad Leib, an assistant professor of law at Harvard who directs the university’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. While composting food is a better option than throwing it out, it too has a significant carbon footprint.

  • A dearth of nutrition in school lunches

    June 11, 2015

    U.S. school cafeterias are starved for funds, lack facilities, and are staffed by workers who often know more about wielding “box cutters and can crushers” than chefs’ knives, according to Ann Cooper, a onetime celebrity chef turned Colorado lunch lady and school food reformer....Emily Broad Leib, director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, said that Congress is now considering reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which expires in September. Among other things, the act provides nutritional guidelines for school lunches, and must be reauthorized every five years. The last reauthorization, in 2010, took significant steps toward improving the nutritional quality of school lunches, Leib said. Possible changes this time include increasing the amount of federal reimbursement for meals, taking steps to increase student participation in the program, and providing grants for kitchen equipment and staff training.

  • Cover of 2015 US Federal Report PATHS

    CHLPI launches campaign to promote federal law and policy reforms for type 2 diabetes

    June 4, 2015

    On May 19, the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) launched a campaign to promote federal law and policy reforms for type 2 diabetes prevention and management as part of CHLPI’s broader, multi-phase Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS) initiative that first worked to strengthen local and state policy to address diet-related health conditions.

  • Emily Broad Leib named Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

    June 3, 2015

    Emily Broad Leib '08, cofounder and director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, has been named Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at HLS.

  • Food waste: Consumers can be part of the solution (video)

    May 5, 2015

    Tom Colicchio and a panel of experts, which includes author Jonathan Bloom, Emily Broad Leib of Harvard University's Food and Policy Clinic and Mike Curtin of DC Central Kitchen, discuss the larger issues highlighted by the film “Just Eat It.”

  • Milk: Down the drain

    April 23, 2015

    Three filmmakers, operating two cameras and a boom mic, hurry through Pattee Creek Market on a recent Friday afternoon. They are frantically tracking the seemingly mundane action of a store employee transferring milk cartons from one side of the market to a sink on the other side. There, he will pour the contents of the cartons down the drain in compliance with a state law that forbids the sale of milk more than 12 days after it's pasteurized. Led by director and Harvard Law School lecturer Rebecca Richman Cohen, the filmmakers are working with Emily Broad Leib, deputy director of Harvard's Food Law and Policy Clinic, and Emily Deddens [`15], a Harvard law student, on a short documentary about how confusing dating on food products leads to waste throughout the United States. According to Leib, Montana's policy regarding milk dating is the nation's strictest—and therefore the most glaring example of what's wrong nationwide.

  • Harvard Law School film crew examines Montana’s strict milk expiration laws

    April 19, 2015

    Montana has the strictest law in the nation governing the “sell by” date for milk, forcing grocers to dump untold thousands of gallons of perfectly good food every week. That’s why a documentary film crew from Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic was in town on Friday to interview Pattee Creek Market owner Jim Edwards. "This has been part of a long-running interest of ours that’s around how we’re wasting so much of the food we produce in the U.S. We’re looking at how these laws – like the law we’re looking at in Montana – are the cause of that waste,” said clinic director Emily Broad Leib.

  • Food waste, milk laws bring film crew to Missoula

    April 19, 2015

    When it comes to food waste the expression "crying over spilled milk" actually does apply. A study from Harvard prompted a film crew to come to Missoula and document how Montana's milk date process leads to mass amounts of waste each year. A film crew was on hand Friday afternoon at Pattee Creek Market to inquire about confusing expiration dates that can lead to food waste. "We wanted to take a new angle on this issue. It is a huge problem. It is 160 billion pounds of food that is wasted every year,"Harvard law student Emily Deddens [`15] said. "We are kind of thinking of a way to show that and it seemed like focusing on this one example of this law with milk that it would really demonstrate that perfectly good wholesome food is being thrown for no reason except that there is a law with an arbitrary date..."Most people are really surprised to know that they are not regulated at the federal level. So many of the labels on our food products people think that they come from the FDA or the USDA, but these labels are not really federally regulated with the exception of infant formula," said Harvard Law School Law and Policy Clinic Director Emily Broad Leib. Emmy nominated film maker Rebecca Richman Cohen has teamed with the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic to create a short documentary.

  • The Wasserstein Center illuminated from the inside, with the words 'innovation@hls' overlaid at the top

    Harvard Law champions entrepreneurship and innovation

    April 15, 2015

    For law students interested in entrepreneurism and startups—as entrepreneurs themselves, as lawyers representing startups, or both—there is a wealth of growing and intersecting opportunities at Harvard Law School and across the university.

  • Food recovery panel, 4 people at the front of the room

    A focus on food: Harvard Law School forum mines ways to protect, improve what we eat (video)

    April 10, 2015

    On March 28-29, The Harvard Food Law Society and the Food Literacy Project hosted the “Just Food? Forum on Justice in the Food System” at Harvard Law School, organized as part of Harvard’s yearlong Food Better initiative, created to discuss issues surrounding what we eat.