80 percent of sell-by dates are approximate.
via Flickr user (cc) girt 5
Every year, Americans throw out more than 40 percent of their food. That’s over 165 billion pounds of tasty grub (that someone else could have eaten) whisked off to a landfill. A major reason for all this waste is the sell-by date on food products. People wrongfully assume their food is bad, so they throw it out. Sell-by dates began appearing back in the ’70s when people were concerned about the freshness of packaged foods. After much legislation, the only food with a federally mandated sell-by date is baby formula.
Sell-by dates are great for food manufacturers. The quicker the food allegedly goes bad, the sooner you have to replace your carton of milk or box of Saltines, even though they’re still safe for consumption and tasty. It’s called “shortening the sales cycle.” As it turns out, 80 percent of sell-by dates are approximate, but 91 percent of consumers occasionally discard food that has reached its sell-by date out of worry over the product’s safety.
To learn more about the truth behind sell-by dates, take a look at this video produced by Cracked.