OMAHA (KPTM)- One thing people often pay close attention to at the supermarket isn't a grocery list, but an expiration date.
According to a new study, Americans are prematurely throwing away millions of pounds of food a year. Experts at the ‘Natural Resources Defense Council' said that it's confusion about the "sell by" and "best by" dates that have had Americans tossing out food.
"Most of the times grocery stores because of handling have to sell things green. Most of the produce is not even ready to eat until it's ripened a few days beyond what you buy off the shelf," said Dr. "D" Hibler, of the Benson Plant Rescue.
Hibler has been recycling food from local grocery stores in Omaha for years.
On Wednesday, he and a couple of volunteers sorted through 1200 pounds of food that was supposed to be sent to the landfill.
"Box right here-the compost box shows you what was really not usable over a thousand pounds of food," said Hibler, pointing to a half-filled gallon bucket.
According to the ‘Natural Resources Defense Council,' 90 percent of Americans throw out food prematurely. Also, 40 percent of the United States food supply is tossed, unused.
"If there's one little spot on something. If I'm paying $4.99 for cucumbers, I don't want to pay for something that has a spot," said Tara Joyce Whipp. Whipp has been helping out Hibler for about a year.
"It's not just about the people who receive the produce, it grows in me the ability to be more generous," said Joyce Whipp.
Joyce Whipp and Hibler deliver the food to charities across Omaha. "If you can use it, or somebody else can use, I mean that's great. That makes a whole lot of sense because there's a lot of people that are starving and that is hungry," said Jackie MacCowin. MacCowin is a cook in a local charity and has been receiving food from Hibler for years.
"The fruit and stuff is really a big help to us," said MacCowin.
For the full study about when to throw out your food, click here.