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Manufacturers Utilize Expiration Dates to Maximize Profits

Many people don’t realize but the expiration date actually doesn’t determine when food goes bad

Against popular opinions the expiration date on a food product doesn’t identify when the product goes bad. 

About 2.5 billion tons of food is wasted each year, and America is one of the main contributors. America wastes the most food out of any country at about 80 million tons of food each year. Retailers waste 43 billion tons of food and consumers like yourself toss another 90 million tons. It is also a problem for our government and people like you. Wasting food can take a large toll on your wallet especially due to inflation. The government also needs to operate 42 coal fired power plants to burn the trash that we create.  For the most part, the food wasted is actually perfectly edible. To learn more about the reason for all this wasted food I discovered the hard truth about expiration dates. 

In the olden days many food products could be easily identified if they were edible by using humans’ five senses. But after processed food was introduced in the late 18th and 19th centuries it was impossible to tell when food expired. After demand for expiration dates rose, manufacturers started printing an expiration date. Food product dating has nothing to do with your safety. To maximize profits, manufacturers would put the expiration date far before the product actually expires. How does this maximize profits? Well, this allows manufacturers to ensure more consumers because they have to buy the product again. Many of these expiration dates are made without research and scientific study; they are just random numbers that can maximize a manufacturer’s profit. Some products such as honey have an expiration date printed on the bottle although they actually never expire. There are no rules against what a manufacturer puts as an expiration date which allows them to get a higher profit. In fact, the non-profit organization ReFED predicted that 305 million pounds of food would be wasted during Thanksgiving.


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