The food labeling system in the United States is a complete disaster. The words healthy, non-GMO, natural, cage free, organic, are just smokescreens, not actual description of the food in question. Misinformation is not only encouraged, but misleading consumers has become an actual game, complete with fraudulent claims hidden by disclaimers in various ads. Not one company cares about the consumers, food security or the environment.
Expiration dates are just another meaningless way to fleece the masses.
The FDA only requires expiration dates for infant formula; the dates we see on food at the grocery store are determined and placed by the manufacturer.
SELL BY and BEST BEFORE dates are the manufacturer’s way of telling the stocking people when they should load the shelves with the products.
BEST BY and USE BY dates are there to keep your mind off other things you should be thinking about. There is no reliable scientific way to determine when a given product will deteriorate, as there are many variables involved, and methods of transportation and storage affect spoilage. When I did a part-time stint at a grocery store, the newly shipped milk stayed in the storage room for at least a week until the store could sell the old milk. Produce like cabbage and lettuce are “shaved” to look good; the old outer leaves are removed and the product rewrapped with a new date.
When you read “Best if Used By”, “Best By”, “Use by”, “Sell by”, “Shelf life”, let it be known that the company believes you are an idiot. And we have so many companies with that belief, that we are offered big chain stores to buy even more crap that we don’t need, so we can waste even more food.
As explained in “My little homestead”, 45% of the food we purchase go to the landfill. A good portion of that waste comes from dumping food with expired dates. Meanwhile 16 million American children go to bed hungry every single night.
The FDA allows manufacturers to stamp their product with a date knowing that the date is in no way intended to be a food safety date. The only regulation is that if a manufacturer chooses to use a date on their product, then the FDA allows either coded letters and numbers (“closed dating”) to be used on shelf-stable products or if a calendar date is chosen (“open dating”) then the FDA requires that it contain the month, day and year along with a phrase explaining the meaning of that date. This is the official FDA regulation, but many states (20+) do require dating on certain foods, but at the same time other states have no dating requirements at all.
We are brainwashed into the expiration dates, yet stores are not legally required to remove food from the shelf once the expiration date has passed. One well known food store and one emerging company were caught “renewing” dates on bad meats; the fines were paid by the established company which could afford them, while Food Lion went out of business. Shopping is not always a pleasure. As stated before, with the exception of infant formula and baby food, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require food companies to place dates on their food products.
Disregard all this if you eat processed food; expiration dates should be your last concern.
Disregard all this if you are a Christian. Your savior expired, but just like bad food, a new date will be stamped on his butt comes Sunday morning. You will be able to eat the same tasteless wafers and drink the same cheap grape juice, because you really don’t care about your health, and expiration dates should be your last concern.