Do you religiously throw out food when it hits its best before date? I have to admit that I tore through my kitchen cupboards last weekend and turfed out anything with a best before date of last year. Which is probably pretty crazy as I filled up a bin liner and I am sure most of that stuff was good to stay. It just probably wouldn’t be “at its best”.
“Best before” dates and “use by” dates are two completely different things and I wonder how many people use them interchangeably? Best before is simply that, you’ll get the most out of it if you consume it by that date, but will be perfectly safe if you consume it anytime after. “Use by” is more about safety, and is often put on foods that perish quickly like dairy foods and meat – even then, I am an advocate of “if it looks OK, smells OK, passes the “finger taste test” then it’s edible! Food does not come with a ticking clock, it has no idea it’s gone passed its sell-by date; so before you throw it, use your senses – that’s what they’re there for.
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat.