As part of HuffPost’s “Reclaim” project, HuffPost Taste will focus the entire month of July on simple ways you can reduce food waste in your own home.
In the U.S. alone, billions of pounds of food get thrown out every year just due to expiration date confusion. According to a study by Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, 91 percent of people have thrown away perfectly good food based on the sell-by date out of concern for food safety.
That’s a whole lot of very unnecessary food waste.
The thing is, the sell-by date doesn’t mean a food’s expired after the printed day. The sell-by date, according to the USDA, is meant to tell the store how long it should display the product for sale. And those dates are generally not federally regulated ― they’re set by manufacturers. A lot of food is completely safe to eat weeks, if not months, after the sell-by date.
Similarly, best-by and use-by dates don’t indicate expiration, either. They’re set by the manufacture to indicate the last date a product will be at peak quality.
Using research primarily conducted from U.S. government agencies, as well as directly contacting food manufacturers, the site Still Tasty has put a lot of research into finding out just how long our favorite foods are actually safe to eat. Here are 11 examples of everyday foods that are safe past what is generally believed ― and that you might be throwing out unnecessarily.
- 1Butter, Opened Or UnopenedRachel Husband via Getty Images
- 2Eggs, Fresh, Raw And Still In The ShellAdam Berry via Getty Images
- 3Yogurt, Opened Or UnopenedBloomberg via Getty Images
- 4Milk, Opened Or UnopenedSimon Murrell via Getty Images
- 5Cream Cheese In Unopened Foiled Packagebhofack2
- 6Bacon, Still Sealed In PackageBloomberg via Getty Images
- 7Parmesan, Commercially Grated And PackagedShutterstock / Brittny
- 8Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Or Shredded In Unopened PackageTom Grill via Getty Images
- 9Hot Dogs, SealedMarilyn Conway via Getty Images
- 10Feta Cheese Crumbles, Unopened PackageMaximilian Stock Ltd. via Getty Images
- 11White RiceMonkey Business Images via Getty Images
Language in the petition embedded in this entry has been updated to reflect Walmart’s recent efforts to sell some “ugly” produce in the U.S.
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