In a previous blog, we wrote about the difference between “use by” dates and “best before” dates.

What are some simple things we can do to avoid food loss?

For example, if you are in a supermarket or convenience store, try to make it a habit to take what is in the front of the shelf. By taking ones that are closer to the use-by or best before dates, you'd be able to reduce the amount of food that is thrown away.

There is a big difference between "best before" and "use-by" dates. Some foods are safe to eat past their best before date, but it is the use-by date that indicates when they will no longer be safe to eat. Make sure you check the labels and look at the dates.

Recently our friends in Sweden sent us some example of what is done in Sweden.  It’s definitely quite interesting and I wish this can be done in Japan too!

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"Even if the best before date has expired, if you can smell it or see it yourself and think you can eat it, it's okay!"

This is what is written on Swedish food products (especially yogurt and dairy products). For example, next to the “best before” date, it says "ofta bra efter"  which translates to "you can still eat it after this".

Take a look at these egg packages!

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"Check the condition of your eggs in water to reduce waste!"

The following is a description of how to check if eggs are old or not according to the egg packages from a grocery store in Sweden:

Left : If it sinks, it is fresh!

Center : If the eggs stand up in water, they are 1-3 weeks old!

Right: If the eggs float, they are… Crack it open and smell it to see if it is old or not!  

I actually had no idea about this so I researched a bit more and found that when you're in doubt and wondering how fresh your egg is, you should do the water test just like it says on the Swedish egg package. Thanks to my friend in Sweden, I found this video from the Swedish grocery store:

Place your egg in a glass of water - if it sinks to the bottom, it is a sign that the egg is fresh.  Of course, the surest way to tell if the egg is fresh and edible is to use your nose.  You can tell simply by the smell (and taste) if the egg has gone rancid or not.

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Similar to taking products that are in the front (which are usually the ones closer to the best-before and use-by dates), it totally makes sense doesn't it? Check for yourself and decide if it's edible or not.  This can definitely help reduce food waste and also makes you think more.

Just like in the photo below close to the best-before dates,

"ofta bra efter"  =  "you can still eat it after this"

↑ So simple, yet so true.