Edmonton Food Bank

Save money & reduce food waste

Posted on October 23, 2015

Save money & reduce food waste

“Why are you giving me this when it is expired?” is a question we get asked a lot at the Food Bank. The fact is most of us have very little understanding of what the dates on our foods mean and it causes us to waste our food and our money.

Very few foods actually have an “Expiry Date” and those are foods fortified with minerals and vitamins that are critical to a person’s health (baby food and meal replacements for example.) Most foods have a “Best Before Date” which is more of a guideline for quality. After a “Best Before Date” foods may not be at peak quality but are still edible for sometime. Examples are milk which can last 7 days after the “Best Before Date”, yogurt which can last 7 to 10 days after opening and eggs which can last for up to 4 weeks after their “Sell By Date”. Canned food can be edible months after its date as long as the can has no leaks or punctures.

Edmonton’s Food Bank started 34 years ago as a gleaning program collecting edible food that was being wasted by the food industry and giving this healthy food to agencies helping those facing food insecurity. It was a few years later when the Food Bank began giving food hampers directly to those in need. It is one of the ironies of our society that we waste so much while many have so little. We can all make better use of our food resources if we learn to understand what our food labeling means. Much of the waste in the food industry is in response to consumers assumptions about what “Best before Dates” mean. Check out the resources below to learn more.

To find out how to reduce your food waste and save money with these tips from Global News.

You can also check out the Canadian Food Inspection Agency pages on food labeling for more information.