It is with a lot of interest I have been following any news articles that are out on whether we should get rid of the 'best before' date on food?
Does it make any difference?
Would it save a lot of food waste?
These are the important questions that are being asked at present by the European Union in their bid to save millions of tons of food that is carelessly wasted each year.
They state that on average, 15% of what we buy from the supermarket will get thrown away!
Most of this is because we will look at the date on it and it states 'best before xyz' so we work out it is past that date and out it goes!
As they have mentioned 'best before' is a guideline. It does not mean the food has to be used by that date, it is a guideline to tell you that they recommend it is 'best before' that date, however most things can be used up to even 1-2 years past this date, it just takes common sense when going to use the food.
Does it look good? Does it smell ok?
Just because those choclate biscuits say best before Feb 2014, believe me I think they will be fine today in May of 2014! Well when I am in need of choclate its good enough for me.
So it definitely gives us something to stop and think about.
How do we feel about the term 'best before'?
How does this affect the food we eat and use in our cooking?
Does rice and pasta really need to be thrown out just because it didn't get used before the best before date printed on the packet?
Definitely going to make me think twice before I throw something away based on the date rather than whether it is something I could incorparate in our menu for the following few days to use up than throw out.
However you have to remember to not get this confused with the 'use by date' on food which is definitely there for a reason and must be followed as it gives the date by which a product must be consumed rather than a recommendation.
Just some food for thought on a Wednesday morning!