Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Edible but Unmarketable Food

  • Alicia Arroyo Aparicio
  • Leire Escajedo San-Epifanio
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_556-1



Edible but unmarketable food is an expression used to refer to food – both processed and unprocessed – that, destined for human consumption, is no longer on the market. In other words, this is food that was originally cultivated, maybe even processed, packaged, and/or transported to habitual sale and distribution points in order to be consumed by an end user, but exits the normal process of commercialization at some stage of said process. In most countries of the world, although more clearly in the countries of the Global North, there is legislation that excludes from the market products that are not safe (in the EU, for instance, this is known as the Hygiene Package) and, in turn, there is a wide range of technical regulations which specify when food may be considered to be in this state. It should be made clear that edible but unmarketable food fulfils these safety criteria, but becomes unmarketable due to other reasons or circumstances.



Edible but unmarketable food Food donation Samaritan Food Donation Laws Consumer Waste prevention 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arroyo Aparicio, A. (2015). Edible but unmarketable food: Some legal problems to be solved on food waste prevention. In Envisioning a future without food waste and food poverty (pp. 33–39). Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers. isbn:978-90-8686-275-7.Google Scholar
  2. Arroyo Aparicio, A. (2017). Iniciativas legislativas en el Derecho europeo referidas a la donación de alimentos (“alimentos no comercializables”) In L. Escajedo, E. Rebato (Dirs.), Tirant Lo Blanch.Google Scholar
  3. Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. (1996).Google Scholar
  4. Deloitte. (2014). Comparative Study on EU Member States’ legislation and practices on food donation. Final report, June 2014 (European economic and social committee).Google Scholar
  5. Elmes, M. B., Mendoza-Abarca, K., & Hersh, R. (2016). Food banking, ethical sensemaking, and social innovation in an era of growing hunger in the United States. Journal of Management Inquiry, 25(5), 122–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Escajedo San-Epifanio, L. (2016). The politics of food waste and food poverty in the EU: Some ethical reflections. In A. I. Olsson, S. M. Araújo, & M. F. Vieira (Eds.), Food futures: Ethics, science and culture. The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publisher.Google Scholar
  7. EU Commission. (2016). Working document to prepare EU guidelines on food donation, Comisión Europea-DG SANCO, 22 June 2016.Google Scholar
  8. EU Parliament. (2012). European Parliament resolution of 19 January 2012 on how to avoid food wastage: Strategies for a more efficient food chain in the EU (2011/2175(INI)). Accessed at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2011/2175(INI)
  9. FAO. (2013). Toolkit. Reducing the food wastage footprint. Accessed at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3342e/i3342e.pdf
  10. French Parliament. (2016). La loi sur la lutte contre le gaspillage alimentaire, Loin. 2016–138, 11 Feb. Access at: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/loi/2016/2/11/AGRX1531165L/jo/texte
  11. Gjerris, M., & Gaiani, S. (2015). Values in the trash: Ethical aspects of food waste. In L. Escajedo & M. De Renobales (Eds.), Envisioning a future without food waste and food poverty. Societal challenges (pp. 53–62). Holanda: Wageningen Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Haley, J. (2013). The legal guide to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, 8 Aug 2013. Ark. L. Notes 1448.Google Scholar
  13. Italian Parliament. (2016). Disposizioni concernenti la donazione e la distribuzione di prodotti alimentari e farmaceutici a fini di solidarietà sociale e per la limitazione degli sprechi. 19 Aug. Accessed at: http://www.plusplus24diritto.ilsole24ore.com/#/showprov/1/295801
  14. Lang, T., & Heasman, M. (2015). Food wars: The global battle for mouths, minds and markets. New York: Earthscan, Routledgle.Google Scholar
  15. Schneider, F. (2013). The evolution of food donation with respect to waste prevention. Waste Management, 33, 755–763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. UNEP. (2014). Prevention and reduction of food and drink waste in businesses and households - Guidance for governments, local authorities, businesses and other organisations, Version 1.0. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/save-food/PDF/Guidance-content.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alicia Arroyo Aparicio
    • 1
  • Leire Escajedo San-Epifanio
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de Derecho UNEDMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Constitutional Law and History of Political Thought and of Social and Political MovementsUniversity of the Basque CountryBilbaoSpain