Do We Really Need S. 510?

If I understand correctly, the whole point of S. 510, which was way over the top as it was so broad as to be simultaneously unenforceable and the end of the farmers’ market, was to increase food safety. While a bill that will allow for the inspection of any purveyor of food, ranging from a farm corp beast like Perdue to your Aunt Maye who sells blackberry jam at the town fair (The Most Dangerous Bill in the History of America) might increase food safety, it’s not the only way.

What if a consumer could tell if food was safe just by looking at the packaging? Far fetched? Not at all. When food spoils (which is often the result of oxygen mixing with bacteria which creates mold), it gives off particular gasses. If these gasses are trapped, they can be tested. And if the test is in the packaging, then, just like a battery energy level indicator, the packaging could be used to determine whether or not the food is still good.

And such technology is currently being developed at Strathclyde University where researchers are working on indicators made from intelligent plastics that change colour when food starts to spoil. As per this recent article on Smart Wrapping over on BBC News, the researchers expect that their intelligent plastics, that can be used in modified atmospheric packaging, will be commercially viable in the near future. Wouldn’t this be a better option?