Confusing labels blamed for huge waste of food costing families $2,000 a year

Average American throws out 25% of what they buy

Toss it or use it? Most of us err on the side of caution, when it comes to throwing out food that may have gone bad. But experts says we are wasting way too much perfectly good food. Estimates are individuals toss about $40 worth of edible food a month. The loss for an average family is $2,000 plus a year. Total it up for the entire U.S., and the wasted food costs $29 billion.

In addition to family budgets, the waste is also a huge drain on the environment.

Confusion about what the food expiration labels actually mean is leading to a lot of the waste. You can find products with: Sell By, Use By, Best By, Guaranteed Fresh, Best Before, and the list goes on and on.

Major manufacturers are moving toward more uniform labeling by the year 2020. "Use by" dates will be primarily for perishables like eggs, milk and meat. "Best if used by" will be for canned and boxed goods.

For help figuring out how long foods stay fresh and at their best quality go to:

The foodkeeper app is an easy guide:

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