90% of Americans throw out food prematurely
September 19th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
Share this on:

Use-by dates are contributing to millions of pounds of wasted food each year.

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic says Americans are prematurely throwing out food, largely because of confusion over what expiration dates actually mean.

Most consumers mistakenly believe that expiration dates on food indicate how safe the food is to consume, when these dates actually aren't related to the risk of food poisoning or foodborne illness.

Food dating emerged in the 1970s, prompted by consumer demand as Americans produced less of their own food but still demanded information about how it was made. The dates solely indicate freshness, and are used by manufacturers to convey when the product is at its peak. That means the food does not expire in the sense of becoming inedible.

Read the full story - Food expired? Don't be so quick to toss it

Posted by:
Filed under: Health News • News • Waste

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. William Tate

    Your style is really unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this page.


    June 22, 2014 at 12:05 am |
  2. Amy

    this is not true. these manufactures are actually try to get rid of the law of expiration date. food poison caused by many can food that left over year because the store don't want to throw away. so they sell to you. Immagine your children dont have strong stomach like you will die of food poison. YES, there are many cases in regarding that. so don't be fool and follow this stupid thread. expiration date is a law to protect you againsst these manufacture from selling you poison.

    November 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  3. Thinking things through

    Depending what things are, I figure the sell by dates are there for an idea, not written in stone. I'll investigate (milk with the nose) and respond accordingly. You can always cut the bad bits off of most solid foods.

    September 24, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • Santa Claus

      Bad food makes for angry reindeer and elves.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  4. myrtlemaylee

    Good advice. We found that out when working at a DV shelter. The 2 local supermarkets had to get rid of shelf items by expiration or "sell by" dates so they donated them to the shelter & local food banks. Great food for local families & tax write-off for them.

    September 23, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  5. AleeD®

    Premature (food) ejection? Sad ... but give it time and another chance ...

    September 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Truthâ„¢

      Think about baseball...

      September 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Shirley U. Jest

      For real. That carton of milk of yours going sour? Let it finish and strain it in a coffee filter. You now have home made sour cream.

      Don't throw out those "turning" vegetables in your fridge, dump them in a ceramic crock, add lots of hot pepper to mask flavor and leave the crock outside to ferment for at least a month. Your Korean friends will love this dish.

      Is that fish going bad? Make a Scandinavian delicacy. Bury it in pea gravel, preferably near a stream, and go back to it next spring and bing! you have Surstromming (soured fish).

      See, nothing really goes bad in this world.

      September 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  6. Monsanto Executive

    Where will you be marching so I can send our new breed of GMO super insects ?

    September 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  7. wadej420

    oct.19th world wide march against monsanto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
| Part of