November 13, 2023

The Atlantic: “Expiration Dates Are Meaningless”

In a thought-provoking article recently published by The Atlantic, the flaws in our current food date code system were laid bare. It's high time we rethink the way we perceive expiration dates and consider how we can reduce food waste, save money, and ensure food safety more effectively.

The Truth About Expiration Dates

At first glance, expiration dates seem like a helpful guide to determine whether a food item is safe to consume. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that these dates often miss the mark. What expiration dates actually signify is the date at which food is at its peak freshness, not necessarily when it becomes unsafe to eat. Moreover, the definition of "peak freshness" is far from clear-cut, and it can vary significantly, sometimes by as much as ten days, depending on the state you live in.

The Consequences of Excessive Caution

In these times of increased awareness about environmental concerns and rising grocery bills due to inflation, it's crucial to address the issue of food waste. The annual emissions from rotting food in the United States alone are staggering, equivalent to the emissions of 42 coal-fired power plants. It's not just an environmental problem; it's also a significant financial drain on households. On average, people throw away approximately $1,300 worth of perfectly edible food each year.

The Need for Change

While the U.S. Congress is currently debating potential reforms to date codes, at Evigence, we have a visionary dream: to replace date codes with real-time freshness data. Our innovative Freshness Management System is designed to do just that. By measuring aggregate time and temperature exposure, our system provides accurate and up-to-date information on the actual remaining "fresh life" of food items. It makes a clear distinction between food that is still at its peak quality and food that is safe for consumption.

A Bright Future Ahead

We are thrilled to witness a growing awareness of this critical issue and the need for change. At Evigence, we are committed to working alongside our valued customers, policymakers, and consumers to redefine freshness in the food industry. It's an exciting journey that has the potential to significantly reduce food waste, lower grocery bills, and contribute positively to our environment.

In conclusion, it's time to rethink our approach to food expiration dates. Let's embrace a future where freshness data takes center stage, where we can make informed decisions about the food we consume, and where we can all play a part in reducing waste and protecting our planet. Together, we can make a difference.

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