Since finishing the grocery auction piece, I’ve continued to follow the topic via a handy Google News alert. And yes, there seems to be such a thing as expired food news. One interesting story I’ve come across this way was a big study that looked at whether prescription drugs, like many food products, really last longer than their posted expiration date. It’s something I’d love to look into.

That alert is also how I found out that Greece is now asking retailers to discount their “old” nonperishable food in response to rising food prices and austerity measures that are cutting deep. The government wants stores to sell products a week to three months past their sell-by date at deep discounts. Anti-austerity activists have protested the move, saying it shoves bad food on the the poor.  I worked with Joanna Kakissis, a reporter in Greece, to write up this post for The Salt.

This story is just a testament to the effectiveness of the Google News alert. It’s a great way to stay up to speed on something you don’t have time to research every day and it makes it that much easier to craft a mini-beat.

To steal a line from a famous infomercial: just set it, and forget it.

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