Food labels don’t mean what you think they mean.
When most people clean out their fridge, they tend to look at the date label on the food and throw it in the trash if it’s past that date. But chances are you’re throwing out tons of perfectly good food because date labels are often really confusing, and sometimes even meaningless.
Many people assume that date labels are federally regulated, but baby formula is the only product required to have consistent date labels. For everything else, it’s up to the states to decide.
This creates a confusing state-by-state patchwork of labels with everything from “use by” to “freshest before” to “sell by” to “packaged on.” There are dozens of different kinds of labels and they often don’t tell you anything about whether the food is safe to eat or not.
All this confusion causes us to waste tons of food every year. All the uneaten food waste costs Americans over $200 billion each year, and two-thirds of that comes from households.
Check out the video above to find out the simple solution that experts think would help solve our massive food waste problem. You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. Subscribe for more.