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Best Before Conspiracy

Posted 2010.03.02 9.31 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

When I’m at the grocery store, buying perishable products, I’m always careful to check the expiry dates (aka Best Before dates.) I can’t afford to throw food out so I’m always very careful not to buy short-dated stuff.

Especially milk (aka half-and-half creamer). Gotta have some widener in my coffee, or it’s all hot and black and uncreamy. So when I buy my coffee milk, I am very careful to check the date on the carton. The 10% stuff is usually good for 6 to 8 weeks, and I usually go through it in 10 days, so it’s almost never a problem. Nonetheless, I always check the dates.

(I also have other rules, such as I never take the first one or the last one… the first one is half-exposed to the unrefrigerated air in the grocery store, and the last one is suspect by virtue of hiding at the back, so I always take one from the middle.)

Anyhow, so I recently stumbled onto a new conspiracy with these so-called best before dates. See, I brought home a carton of coffee milk, and put it in my fridge. No big deal. The following morning I took the carton out, and was surprised to find that the best before date said the milk was going to expire in a week. I know it said it was good for a month, when I bought it.

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Best Before Expiry Date

Posted 2010.02.01 19.43 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Remember when food and drink had expiry dates on them? Neither do I, but I am certain they did, at one time.

I mean, you hear people talk about it, like you have to drink the milk before it expires.

The thing is, if you look close, there’s no expiry date. Instead there is a “Best Before” date.

I understand the difference, and I sort of understand why. If they said the product expired on a fixed date, and the product went bad before that date, you could sue them (if you were so inclined) for false whatevering. And if the product was still viable after the expiry date, I’m sure someone would want to sue them anyways for trying to convince the public to throw out foodstuffs that were still good, in a conspiratorial effort to make you spend more money blah blah blah.

There are certainly concpiracies revolving around these dates – I’ll cover that in another post however.

So by calling it a Best Before date, they are more or less covered. It isn’t going to specifically go bad on that date. It might, but might not. Maybe it’ll still be good for another week – who knows? All the manufacturer is willing to commit to, is that it will be best if you consume it before that date.

My thing is, what if you have lower standards? Or your budget does not permit you the luxury of disposing of food products that are still acceptable, even if they are no longer at their very best?

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