I Laugh In the Face of Expiration Dates

Time Magazine recently published an article that discussed how European researchers are presenting a paper that argues that certain products that include a “best by” date should not actually have a best by date on them. There is a difference between “best by” and “use by”, “best by” dates are usually included to indicate that there may be a loss of quality in the food that the date is on. A “use by” date is usually on products that go bad or may make you sick if you eat them after that date, such as milk. Even those dates seem a bit suspect as I have never ever had milk go bad on me on or even a day or two past the use by date. Proper storage plays an important role though, I only have my milk out of the fridge while I am using it, a typical gallon of milk a purchase may only spend 5 minutes unrefrigerated from the moment I first place it in my fridge, I always immediately put it back after I use it.

One of the key takeaways from the article linked above as well as this article here is that people are tossing out perfectly good food all the time because the food has reached a best by or use/sell by date. The key numbers tossed around are that around a quarter of the food you buy and anywhere from a third to half of the food you find in the grocery is tossed because it gets to be past a best by or use/sell by date. Now you know how big the modern grocery is, just imagine taking one out of every three products off of the shelves and just tossing it right into a dumpster, all that waste should make you feel sick to your stomach, and not because you ate something a day or even a week past it’s best by date.

For any food or drink to get tossed out at my place, it needs to be either smelling bad, tasting bad or growing something on it. I’m not sure what my percentage of wasted food is but it is a heck of a lot less than 25%. Best would be 0% so there is still work to be done…

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