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Lots of food still perfectly edible after its 'best before date'

We've all trashed food simply because the 'best before date' has passed.

Now, a new campaign, launched today in BC, urges you to 'Look-Smell-Taste' the food to decide if it should be tossed or eaten.

"We're just asking people to think differently and be conscious consumers," said Sarah Soteroff, public relations manager for Too Good To Go, the company behind the 'Look-Smell-Taste' initiative.

"The 'best before date' on a lot of foods is a conservative date that indicates peak freshness and is decided by the manufacturer to keep products continually turning over. That date can often be stretched and you can enjoy the food up to a few days after the 'best before date.'"

<who>Photo credit: Too Good To Go</who>The 'Look-Smell-Taste' campaign urges people to use and trust their senses when it comes to foods and 'best before dates.'

Besides the awareness campaign, Too Good To Go has also developed 'Look-Smell-Taste' labels that food manufactures can apply beside the 'best before date.'

Already launched in other countries, the labels are in use by more than 500 brands.

Some of the first adopters in Canada are Ristorante (frozen pizzas), Shirriff and Dr. Oetker dessert mixes, Bel Group (Babybel, Laughing Cow and Boursin cheeses), Barry Callebaut (chocolate), Epic Tofu, Sunny Fruit, Flirt Drinks, Greenhouse (juices and sparkling waters), MLR Freeze Dried Treats, Healtea, Righteous Gelato, Kopi Thyme and Capel Foods (pancake mixes).

<who>Photo credit: Too Good To Go</who>'Look-Smell-Taste' labels were launched today in BC.

It's all about avoiding unnecessary food waste at home.

The average family in BC tosses out about $2,000 worth of food annually with $400 of that related to throwing out products past their 'best before date' that may have still been edible.

The other waste is unfinished meals that see the garbage, fruits and vegetables that have gone bad and foods way past the sell-by date that are inedible.

Not only is this a waste of food, money and resources, but it's also harmful to the environment.

The estimated 40% of all food produced being wasted every year contributed to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

<who>Photo credit: Too Good To Go</who>If you're tempted to toss food, look at it, smell it and taste it first to see if it's still edible.

Soteroff said, absolutely use and trust your own senses when it comes to deciding whether or not to throw out food.

"That's why we developed 'Look-Smell-Taste,'" she said.

"Give that milk a sniff and decide. The same goes for yogurt and cheese and juice and any other perishable product. If refrigerated and properly sealed, most of these kinds of food are good past the 'best before date.'"

When it comes to packaged foods like crackers, chips, candy, the 'best before date' can usually safely be surpassed.

Many people automatically do the look, smell, taste test before making the decision on where or not to bin foods on the brink.

But, a lot of people also take the 'best before date' as gospel and don't dare eat anything after it.

"We want to change the behaviour from 'when in doubt, throw it out' to 'when in doubt, look, smell and taste,'" said Soteroff.

"'Best before date' can often be considered the 'often good after' date."

Of course, if something's moldy, smells disgusting or tastes foul, get rid of it.

This is where we should tell you the difference between 'best before date' and 'use by date.'

"Use by date' is a food safety warning and you should not eat foods like after the posted 'use by date.'

<who>Photo credit: Too Good To Go</who>Quite often, food is still good despite being past it's 'best before date.'

Too Good To Go was founded in Copenhagen in 2016 as an app that quickly became the world's largest marketplace for surplus food.

Over 90 million people in 17 countries use the app to find out what grocery stores, restaurants, fast food outlets, bakeries and coffee shops are selling off foods that are nearing their expiry date at about a third of the regular price.

The app came to Kelowna in 2021 with Tim Hortons, 7-Eleven, Fresh Slice Pizza, Pizza 64, Limey the British Store, Chester Chicken and Canco Gas all listed as 'active partners.'

So far in Kelowna, no big grocery stores are partners, but Too Good To Go is working on them to get involved.

To download the app go to:

To find out more about 'Look-Smell-Taste' check out:

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].







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