Farmer Hayden Fox went viral on TikTok after explaining the reason companies put expiration dates on their products well before the food actually becomes inedible.
The TikTok was in response to another user, @rizzzy.rizzz, who refuses to eat any food item past the expiration date printed on the container.
They called anyone who does this a 'cult follower.'
Fox began by saying:
"As a farmer, I don't appreciate you throwing the food out."
"You've been being lied to by the food companies."
"It's making them billions of dollars each year, so of course they are going to lie to your face."
After suggesting Rizzy might be a vegan, Fox pointed out how much food he grows ends up getting thrown away by consumers.
"I literally worked all year long growing this food for 60% of it to be thrown in the garbage."
The expiration dates actually don't tell us when the food will spoil, it actually tells consumers when the product is at 'peak freshness.'
"You do know when you go to the farmers market you buy the seconds, meaning the seconds are better."
He said the food processors put an expiration date too early in order to make you throw it away sooner and then buy more, giving them more of your dollars.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Fox said:
"I used to live with a roommate who threw food out the moment it reached its 'expiration' date and it physically pained me."
"As a farmer, we spend countless days laboring away growing the food. Seeing it wasted not only diminishes our work, but is downright wasteful."
"I studied food and agricultural business at the University of Guelph and almost every problem that could be attributed to food insecurity stemmed from consumers being misinformed."
Fox said to prevent waste, do what your instincts tell you.
Smell your food, check for any mold or rot, and if all else fails, take a taste to see if the food has gone bad.
Many commenters on his TikTok are already doing this in their households.
Webmd came up with a guide for the differences between 'expiration dates' and 'best by' dates and gave tips on how to properly store foods.
Fox continued in his interview with Buzzfeed:
"People have lost touch with where their food comes from, and processors and retailers prey on this lack of information. We grow enough food to feed every person on this planet, but for some reason, millions still go hungry."
If you want to hear more from Hayden Fox, he has a podcast called Field of Truth.