As a child, my parents always took me to the supermarket with them. They would ask me, “Can you please get (inserts food item) for me? Make sure that the sell by/best by date isn’t too close to today.” And I guess that habit my parents had of getting food with the furthest date had been instilled in me. At home, if I look at the date and that date was just yesterday or two days ago, I immediate throw it out. I always interpreted it as the expiration date.
Seeing just how baseless our system of labeling is has opened my eyes a bit to the vast amount of waste that I had been producing throughout my childhood. As explained in this video, “Expired? Food waste in America” Montana still has a law keeping milk from being sold or donated 12 days past its expiration date. That’s crazy, especially when milk is proven to be consumable still for 21-24 days after. I hope that in time, a new label system will be implemented, one that has actual scientific basis and can be implemented by the federal government. Starting now, I hope that I’ll learn to stick it through the next time I drink “past sell-by date” milk, knowing that it is perfectly good. It’s going to be tough, especially with a psychological factor in play (instilled since childhood), but I think I can do it.