I’ve begun checking expiry dates very carefully on snack foods for business reasons – no one wants to purchase a gift bag with expired treats. This led me to an interesting and disturbing find. . . Have you noticed that snacking foods (crackers, cookies, etc.) all have ridiculously short expiry dates?
I bought 4 boxes of the 100 calorie Oreo wafers. I like them and there was a double coupon offer so, hey, yeah 4 boxes. It wasn’t until I was prepping for a home show for You Get Well Soon that I noticed that of these boxes that I had bought ONLY 2 months ago 3 had already expired. So I thought I’d check out all the snacks I could find in Costco that would otherwise be appropriate for the business. Lo and behold, not 1 and I mean that literally, not 1 had a date later than November. Most had September. September? It’s August!
I was in the health food store and heard the clerk speaking with a customer about how if everyone in the world ate the way we did (in North America) the Earth would run out of food in just a few years. But the more I thought about it the more I was angered. It’s not the way we eat it’s got much more to do with the fact that we don’t grow food for consumption we grow food for profit. Every grocer has to have ‘enticing’ displays so that we’ll buy their food. How much waste is involved in that process? And when we don’t buy – it all goes to waste. What about the food we do buy? Do we eat all of it or is there waste in that process too? This doesn’t even include restaurants – even more waste. We are training ourselves, our children and the rest of the world to waste food at a rate many times (orders of magnitude) higher than that at which we consume.
And so I am brought back to the expiry dates. It would seem as though the producers of the snack foods mentioned in the first paragraph are not experiencing enough waste – because clearly waste = profits. It must, right? If the food expires before the store can sell it – it’s tossed (at a loss) and then the store will have to order more. And so the cycle continues. It’s a SCAM and it’s time we as consumers started talking to not only our local stores, news and everyone we know. It’s time we took the argument to the producers – not only by not buying their products (because we’re talking about pretty much all snack food producers) but directly talking to them. Letting them know that we’re on to them and we want honesty – not scams.
If food packaging was really that poor – for snack foods in particular – than none of us would be alive today to be scammed. Expiry dates on snack foods is a pretty new phenomenon. So we who are older than 10 years old have eaten food from the pantry (that had been there for more than 2 months – I can almost guarantee it) all of our lives. I have had such food and I know it was more than a year old. And guess what – tasted great. It is highly unlikely that the packaging available has gotten less effective over the last 30 or 40 years. So what is the difference? The manufacturers have realized a new way to increase their profits – WASTE.
Nothing makes me more crazy that waste – especially when it’s for no reason. If it makes you crazy too – I Want to hear about it. We can stop this – but first we have to be aware. Then let those in the biz know that not only are we on to them – but we won’t stand for it!
Help me out on this one and we’ll all benefit!
Reposted from You Get Well Soon