"I ate food expired for a year and the expiration date is useless"

Have you ever ingested a product that has already passed the expiration date? Last year Scott Nash, founder and executive director of the US supermarket chain Mom's Organic Market, dared to do something that many would dread: he ate a cup of yogurt expired months ago. Also cream ten weeks expired, and even meat of a month in supposedly poor condition. "It did not smell bad ", admits in 'The Atlantic'.

All part of a one-year experiment to test the life limits of foods that have already expired. Entitled "My Year of Eating Expired Food," Nash uploaded the results to his personal blog. "I see authentic feats of nature"He admits." Sometimes I wonder how animals can eat without washing food or drink water from any source without getting sick, even if it is not drinkable (my dog ​​often quenches thirst from mud puddles on the street and my cats drink up from the toilet). Some animals even eat the carcasses of other animals that have been dead in hot weather for days. "

When food is thrown away, all the resources to produce, store and transport are also wasted

"Human beings are living organisms. We are also animals ", recognize. "So I started asking you what our capabilities would be to successfully digest unsafe foods." His experiment started in October with a yogurt with an expiration date in March, six months after expiration. He mixed it with fruit so that it tasted better. "It smelled good and there was no mold. I decided to pass it through the blender along with the fruits. I drank and waited and there was no problem. "

Yogurt was the first food in a long list. Cafes, pesto sauces, smoked trout, sausages, fajitas tacos, cream and even buttermilk. And nothing. Apparently, his stomach was ready for everything. In addition, he did not ignore launching his claim after the experiment: "We all agree that wasting food is bad, when food is thrown away, all the resources to produce, store, transport and manipulate them (arable land, labor, energy, water, chemicals and oil to create plastic) are also wasted. "

The planned obsolescence by corporations is real. When you throw a product, companies benefit

"Many people are taking action against this problem, but very few think about the expiration date of the products ", reiterates Nash. "As someone who has spent more than 30 years in the food business, I think the main mission is to review the guidelines system when setting the date. You would not believe the amount of food discarded in perfect condition. "

It is not a mere crazy opinion, it is backed by a report from the Council for the Defense of Natural Resources (NRDC) Among other things, this publication comes to denounce the ambiguity at the time of presenting this expiration date, in which Nash agrees: "These dates are preceded by phrases like 'use before', 'better if consume before', 'sell until', 'much better before', 'expire in' …". In this regard, the CEO supports the thesis of the report: "Although most of the labels are designed based on indications of freshness and quality, Many foods are mistakenly thrown in, believing that what they really indicate is the safety of their consumption. "

If I ever invite you to dinner, it is very possible that there is something on the table that is outdated or damaged

It seems that in the capitalist society in which we live it is always advisable to put an end to everything. Precisely, so that what is finished or that can not be exploited or consumed more, is replaced by something else. This obsession with fixing a definitive end to consumer goods is not only relegated to food; Also to "Salt, to lotions and shampoos, to hand soaps, hair dyes, toothpaste, shaving creams, etc". In short, as certified by Nash, "the planned obsolescence on the part of corporations and industries is real". And "when you throw a product, companies benefit."

"I'm a pretty conscience ecologist", emphasizes the CEO. "I hate waste, especially environmental waste and very specifically food. To this day, every time I buy, I check invoices like a hawk. They raised me to do what I can to avoid waste. My pantry is full of dented cans, crushed boxes and packaged products where the label has been peeled off. If I ever invite you to dinner, it is very possible that there is something on the table that is outdated or damaged. " Will Nash invent a new urban tribe with his example? For the moment, the closest thing to the ideology he preaches is the 'freegan' ecologism in which his acolytes, in addition to being strictly vegetarian, feed on the products they collect from the garbage.

The response of the FDA

"In my opinion, Americans and their institutions have a great anxiety disorder when it comes to food safety ", criticizes Nash. "The expiration date system should be reviewedor. We must be consistent, including terms like "consume better before" or "for better product quality, consume before" … Other items, such as baby wipes or canned products, do not need this label ". What he did not imagine is that he would get a response from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Thus, being the CEO of one of the leading companies selling food and household products who issued this complaint (what is popularly known as a "grocery store" or, here in Spain, a "Food-All to 100" of a lifetime), the agency took note and took his words very seriously. Now, a year later, it seems to have taken note, although it must still be approved by law. "When it comes to food safety, the FDA has required manufacturers to use the terminology well in order to prevent the risk to health," he explains. Daron Taylor, journalist in 'The Atlantic'. "But even if it encourages you to include phrases like 'better if it's consumed before', there's still no law that regulates it."

"We are going to need the main government agencies to sit down and talk about the accuracy of this expiration information in food," he says. Emily Broad Leib, of the School of Law and Clinical Policies of Harvard, who advocates for changes approved at the federal level. "A label that when you see it explain clearly what you should do and how and when to consume it. "