Safe and Smart

Clarity for Expiration Dates on Food




SpeedKingz/Shutterstock.com

Many Americans have been confused by the “Sell By” labels on groceries for 40 years. Now, the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the two largest industry trade groups, are adopting voluntary standardized regulations to clarify. Instead of using up to 10 different phrases to communicate safety, they have settled on just two: “Use By”, a safety designation to indicate when perishable foods are no longer good; and “Best if Used By”, an estimate of when the manufacturer thinks the product should be consumed for peak flavor.

Studies show that consumers generally believe the current labels all signal whether a product is safe to eat, and that it will still be okay well after its so-called expiration date. At the same time, prematurely tossed groceries dominate landfills and produce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and a coalition of environmental groups have been urging the industry to clear this up. The change is scheduled to take hold in July 2018.


This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Mock Meats

Companies worldwide are racing to produce juicy plant-based protein alternatives that have the taste and feel of meat.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Providing Solutions for Digestive Problems

Certified Digestive Health Specialist Reneé Barasch will facilitate a presentation and discussion, at Nutritional Health Solutions, in Highland Park.

Two Bean Recipes

Delicious recipes for Buzzard’s Breath Four-Alarm Revenge Chili and Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Chorizo Stew.

Gynecology Institute Offers

Since 2013, the Gynecology Institute of Chicago has served as a place where women can find a holistic team of specialists to treat everything from common gynecological issues and check-ups to advanced surgical procedures. With three locations in Chicago, the Institute is a convenient, inviting and supportive environment promoting urogynecological health and overall wellness.

Cosmos Child Training with Maxine Therese

Dr. Maxine Therese, a children’s well-being specialist and developer of the internationally accredited Cosmos Child Healing System, will appear at the Conscious Living World’s Fair.

June 2014 Publisher Letter

Step outside, smile up at the sky and maybe kick off your shoes. Finally, we are on the starting end of summer, the happy beginning of long days and open possibilities.

Conquering Diabetes by Attaining Balance

Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum, director of Feed Your Mind Wellness, in Highland Park, states, “We’re facing a severe health crisis, as the pandemic referred to as ‘diabesity’ is increasing at an alarming rate.”