I’m doing a little dance of celebration. Ok, I may look a bit like a fool, but it’s worth getting up and getting excited!
Finally, a supermarket is doing something super awesome to stop silly food waste.
Tesco is scrapping the best before dates on selected fruit and vegetables.
Stopping food waste
Nearly 70 different types of Tesco fruit and vegetables are going to have the “best before” date, or sometimes printed as BBE, removed from packaging.
Many people find it too confusing and others just look at this date, without giving a second thought that the food is actually ok.
In the past, this has just led to huge amounts of waste with decent food just being chucked out.
Not only is this bad for the environment, but it’s such a waste of your money!
But, it’s all going to change now.
While this is just something so simple, so tiny, it is going to have a MASSIVE impact on the amount of edible food that gets binned each and every day.
Best before is nonsense
Best before is just about the quality of the food. It will be at it’s best up to the date written down.
A best before date just gets added as a form of quality control.
You’ll see best before on things like tinned and dried foods, jars, bread, chocolate, cake and fruit and veg.
Still not sure? Read this best before/use by guide
These things will be perfectly fine after the date printed on the pack and it doesn’t “go off” or get rotten the same as fresh meat or dairy items.
While your bread may be able to last a few more days, chocolate (if you can make it last) should be fine for months after the best before.
In my fridge right now I have tomatoes that “went off” (ie have a best before) in April.
Are they a funny colour, covered in mould and walking on their own?
They are firm and taste fine so will continue to be eaten until they are gone.
Trouble is, even though many people know this, there are even more who don’t.
Tesco has been trying to help shoppers for a number of years and took off “display until” dates in 2013 to help stop food waste. This is just another step in the right direction.
There’s no date when you pick your own
If you don’t have an allotment or grow any of your own stuff, then just imagine with me.
Imagine you have a strawberry bush in your garden. In the next month or so, there will be big juicy strawberries just waiting to be picked.
When you pick them, you’ll no doubt give them a quick wash, eat a few and pop the rest in the fridge.
There is no best before date. No one tells you when they aren’t good any more. You just use your judgement.
This is one of the reasons that Tesco getting rid of best before dates of selected fresh fruit and veg is so good!
People will see what they’ve got is actually ok and keep on using it. It won’t get chucked into the bin just because of a date.
If you’ve never heard this before, I promise you – eating a strawberry a week after the best before date is fine (and it no doubt taste just as good!)
YES, Tesco. Blooming well done! 🙂
In the last week, Co-op has also made a change to tackle food waste. Ok, so their plan wasn’t quite as popular, but it will stop food heading to the bin.
The plan from Co-op is to stop selling reduced, yellow sticker food, and instead donate it to community groups and charities.
While consumers will lose out on bargains, there will be less waste and charities will be able to go on doing good stuff for people who need it.
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.