Bal Tashchis: Food Expiration Dates Lead to Waste

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supermarketYou might want to smell that milk before you toss it out. It may be past its expiration date, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.

A new study by Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council finds that expiration dates have little to do with a food’s edibility, and that a lot of food is wasted because of conservative expiration dates.

“The dates are undefined in law and have nothing to do with safety,” said the study’s lead author, Emily Broad Leib. “[Manufacturers are] picking dates that are really protective over their brand, which is fine. It’s just important for consumers to know that.”

The study pushes for more standardized expiration dates, to cut down on the 160 billion tons of food that are wasted every year. Read more at CBS Boston.

{Andy Newscenter}


  1. Was just at a store (in israel) and picked up individually packed cookies. The owner said don’t take that its past its date,i going to throw them all out. So I i responded and said if your going to throw them out i’ll take them I have people who will eat them. They were exactly 6 days past expiration date. Gave them to friends,kids etc; they might not have been the freshest as can be, but they definitely were not stale; for free I have no complaints.

  2. Be extremely careful of expired foods. Cereals, crackers, packaged grains are all sensitive to packaging and time. Any time I open one of these products, the smell is rancid – a very dangerous thing to eat.


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