A con perhaps …

I’ve been thinking about this for some time now. I’m talking about those food labels that state “Use By”. They seem to be on all food packages these days. I don’t mean the “Best Before” date, which people are beginning to realise are one of the biggest cons ever. No it’s the date by which foodstuffs must be consumed by. I cannot get my head around the idea that at 1 minute to midnight, the food is safe to eat but then 1 minute after midnight the food must not be consumed, and must be thrown away.

There does seem to be a trend recently that is moving away from “Use By” being the ultimate usage date. Some experts (as some call themselves) are now advising a “Look, Smell, Taste” approach to food. If it looks, smells and tastes ok then it probably is safe. Although this approach comes with a warning for people with, in their words “...a delicate constitution…” that they should stick to the said date. This new ‘advice’ comes after the scenes of vast amounts of food being sent to landfill, just because of that date, whilst many are having to use foodbanks just to get by.

So why a con? Well how do you get customers to buy more of your produce? One way is to tell them that their purchase cannot be eaten after a certain date. Where is the scientific evidence for this date, considering all the additives that are used in most foodstuff these days? This happened with the Best Before” date that we see on food. People are now beginning to realise that this is only a recommendation and that the foodstuff is perfectly safe still. A con!

4 thoughts on “A con perhaps …

  1. I have to admit that YES, I am one of the people who are a little paranoid and a bit careful with the “best before” date (the German equivalent is a little yeah … more unfortunately worded? Dunno), but I have trained myself over the past few years to try dairy products (for example), or toast, or whatever, because just like you, it’s not as if the bacteria in the yoghurt or milk had a little calendar in their, counting towards doomsday or something. I AM very careful with meat or sausage, though, getting sick from meat is not something I’d like to experience.
    We should definitly produce LESS food waste! It’s so useless, especially when people are starving next door or, like you said, have to go to the foodbank. (IMHO, they should also allow people to “raid” containers of supermarkets or – better – put the food somewhere where it can be more easily accessed by those who want it, if they are going to throw it out anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I use it as a guide. If I bought loose ham or loose cheese I wouldn’t expect to see a use by date, so I just use common sense like we always used to. Does it smell okay and does it look okay in that case it must be okay.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Guess it is just one of the ways that we are encouraged to buy more. Similar to the way that products can’t be repaired and have to be replaced when broken. I suppose this will all have to change if we want to have a more sustainable life, Tony.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have always ignored the dates and always used my eyes and nose to decide. Point in question I had haggis in the fridge, sealed, and my fridge is about 2 degrees so very cold. The haggis date had passed by 4 weeks prior. I opened it and it smelt and looked perfect so I heated it up and ate it. There was nothing wrong with it and I enjoyed it. Fresh meat and poultry are another thing though and I always cook and eat well before the so called dates. I’ve never been ill from food, so either I have a cast iron stomach or my ignoring of dates proves your point perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

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