DAVE ROSS

Ross: The big lie of food expiration dates

Jul 15, 2021, 5:45 AM | Updated: Jul 16, 2021, 2:09 pm
food, milk...
Expired milk in a Seattle-area fridge. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

When I got to work Tuesday morning – by which I mean when I walked downstairs – one of the first headlines I saw was about a big lie. But it wasn’t that big lie, it was about a lie I’ve complained about long before Trump: the lie of food expiration dates.

This has been a sore subject in my family for years. We tend to keep a lot of earthquake food, and when you do that, you’re going to end up with stuff that is dated from the last big earthquake, which was in 2001.

And the discussion has always been as follows: One person says, “I’m never eating that, just throw it out,” and the other person (me) says, “The seal is intact, the can is not swelling, it is perfectly fine, bon appetit!”

So we end up eating separate dinners, one fresh, one expired.

Well, imagine my joy when I saw an extensively-researched article at Vox.com headlined “The lie of ‘expired’ food and the disastrous truth of America’s food waste problem.”

It pointed out that American families throw away around $2,000 worth of edible food a year because of the expiration dates. Which wastes money and farmland, and probably makes climate change worse, since everything does.

But as the article points out, the dates are not based on any kind of rigorous testing but are designed to get you to eat the food while it’s still fresh and tasty.

I don’t blame the manufacturers for that, but the point is the dates have nothing to do with safety.

I already knew this. I have successfully eaten 15-year-old freeze-dried spaghetti and canned tomato paste from the last decade.

And as the article points out, even at their freshest, foods like cheese, yogurt, and sour cream are basically forms of spoiled milk. Bottom line: “Old” does not always equal “dangerous.”

So I recommend the article, even if you still end up throwing out your dated food. My main reason for this commentary is that if someone is listening upstairs, she now knows that no less a source than Vox.com is backing up what I’ve been saying for years.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

balloon...
Dave Ross

Ross: Chinese balloon shot down was ripe for counter-surveillance

What I can say is that if I were in charge of monitoring China, I’d be tracking every Chinese balloon from the moment it broke 1000 feet
1 day ago
ChatGPT...
Michael Simeona

Watch Dave Ross try to outsmart his new AI friend ChatGPT

If you've listened to Dave Ross these past few months, you know his fascination with the new AI tool called ChatGPT.
2 days ago
balloon...
Dave Ross

Ross: Was it a Chinese spy balloon, or luxury space travel prototype?

The defense department says it has been tracking a huge Chinese balloon over Montana
4 days ago
police...
Dave Ross

Ross: ‘Police used as substitute for properly funding social services’

The reason we keep seeing abuses like the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. It’s rooted in American culture.
5 days ago
millenials...
Dave Ross

Ross: More millennials need their parents help, but for how much longer

Dave was shocked to hear about the latest statistics from Money.com on the number of millennials being subsidized by their parents.
6 days ago
morning...
Dave Ross

Ross: Morning people have the ideal lifestyle, it’s just science!

When I took this morning job, there wasn’t much competition. It was basically, "we need someone who can be here at 4:45 a.m.”
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Ross: The big lie of food expiration dates