Best Before

I must admit, this one didn’t tempt me, even at half price. Almost $80 a kilogram seems a bit pricey to me.

I see in the newspaper that there is a movement to eliminate the “best before” dates from food packaging. Apparently most Canadians are opposed to the idea. 

Me too – but not for the reasons of the majority. My reasoning is purely selfish.

Whoever chose “best before” for labeling would probably choose different words if they could do it over again. Maybe the “sell by” found in some places, which to me is a better reflection of the packagers’ intent.

Apparently most Canadians equate “best before” with “not good after,” which leads to a lot of wasted food. Both at home as people toss “expired” goods, and at retail as vendors dispose of product people won’t buy.

Yet food doesn’t (usually) miraculously spoil overnight. It can be quite tasty the day after, even many days after, even if it isn’t considered optimum. 

Though I agree eliminating and changing the label would cut down on waste, which is a good thing, I’d like to see the labeling stay. My taste buds benefit.

My local grocery store pays close attention to the “best before” dates on meat and produce. Rather than take a complete loss, they mark “expired” goods down, 50 per cent off, on the last day or slightly before. That’s when I buy them. I am always looking for a bargain.

I don’t have to eat it that day. It is rare to have meat in my freezer that wasn’t bought at half price. I’m sure I save hundreds of dollar on my annual food bill by shopping this way.

So don’t expect to find me clamoring for a change in labeling. I feel a little guilty for not being more concerned about food waste when food security is an issue for so many, but I do like my bargains.

Wouldn’t you do the same thing in my place?


One comment

  1. Bacteria populations double at room temperture every 30 minutes. Lower rates of doubling at 4’C. so, Also a health issue.

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