cbs – A recent study done by Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resource’s Defense Council exposes the truth behind expiration dates and offers suggestions to food manufacturers on how to better set these dates. “The dates are undefined in law and have nothing to do with safety,” said Emily Broad Leib, lead author of the study, titled The Dating Game, and director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. “They are just a manufacturer suggestion of peak quality.” Leib researched how manufacturers set the dates on their food products, discovering that some manufacturers conduct taste tests that will factor into the expiration date. “[Manufacturers are] picking dates that are really protective over their brand, which is fine,” Leib said. “It’s just important for consumers to know that.” The study looked at rates of waste, finding that 90% of consumers throw they food away on the sell by date. Leib said consumers are unaware that these dates are not necessarily linked with food safety. As a result, about 160 billion tons of food are wasted every year.
Quick math here:
160 billion / roughly 350 million Americans (including babies) = about 457 tons of food per person a year. Which is about 1.25 tons per person a day. I’m no food genius but I’m pretty sure the average American isn’t throwing away one and a quarter tons of food a day. Like I know we eat a lot and Golden Corral exists but I think somebody at Harvard needs to fix a decimal point.
Either way we get your point, Harvard. We don’t understand expiration date rules and there apparently aren’t any rules so companies just put whatever date will make them look best / force you to buy more. I get it. It still doesn’t mean I’m gonna drink expired milk anytime soon. I’m an American and this isn’t 3rd world Bosnia. I may put up with evil anti-constitutional government spying, no healthcare safety net, absurd gun violence, bloated nannystate programs, and rampant corruption, manipulation, and lying in all branches and levels of government, but what I won’t put up with is drinking old milk. That’s one of the benefits of being an American you’ll have to pry from my cold, dead hands.