- Liz Goodwin: Figuring out what the "best by" or "use by" dates mean on food is confusing
- This has led to a significant amount of food waste and even an impact on climate change, she writes
Liz Goodwin is a senior fellow and director of food loss and waste at the World Resources Institute and former CEO of Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.
(CNN)In this season of festive eating -- and festive provisioning -- we often have a tricky time planning meals, juggling all the things in our fridge and making sure everyone has a good time and enjoys the food we cook. I know that even in my house, all the date labels on food can cause confusion. What's the difference between them all? Is the food still safe to eat if it's getting close to one of the dates? Can I use it to feed my friends and family?
- People are scared by the dates and throw things away regardless of whether they are safe to eat.
- People are confused about what the different dates mean (my husband -- who should know better because he lives with me! -- is often concerned about food that goes past the "best by" date, even though it is entirely safe to eat).
- Stores add to the confusion by using the dates inconsistently.
- Retailers and brands don't consistently communicate to customers about how the date labels work.