Have you ever opened your fridge, grabbed a jug of milk, poured a bowl of cereal, and had the oh-so-satisfying experience of eating a bite of overly-sweetened cereal mixed with overly-soured milk? No need for coffee – you’re awake now. (Ok, maybe some coffee to remove the sweet-n-sour-spoonful you just spit out).
Yeah, me too.
Now how about this: Have you ever opened the fridge (this time armed with preparation and prudence), grabbed a jug of milk, examined the expiration date on the label, and poured the entire jug down the sink?
Yeah, me too.
Hold it – was that an expiration date you were reading? Did it say best by, sell by, or use by? If it said use by, congrats – you just won a battle of man vs. milk. If one of the other two, you might want to shed a tear. You just spilled perfectly good milk.
Food labeling is confusing, so here’s the scoop:
- Sell by – a date set by manufacturers telling stores how long they should display the product.
- Best by – the date manufacturers recommend for best flavor or quality.
- Use by – the last date recommended for use by the manufacturer.
Food labels are a mere marketing method used by manufacturers to increase sales. If they can control the shelf-life time, they can ensure control demand of their product. And the real kicker is, none of the labels are regulated by the Government. The only food label that is is baby formula. You want that milk back now, don’t you?
Like the sweet-n-sour-cereal you ate on accident, the truth about food labeling is both surprising…
And hard to stomach.