Farmer Explains Food Expiration

Wasting food is a bad habit. Bad for the environment, bad for you on a moral as well as economic level, and just pure disrespectful towards food and the farmers who spent months and years growing it.

And this very charismatic farmer brings it home with his now-viral TikTok video explaining how the food industry is shortening the expiration date, which is actually a “peak freshness” date and not the last day that you can drink that milk, Tim.

Virtually all food has an expiration date, but, turns out, it’s not really an ‘expiration date’ per se

Meet Hayden Fox, a farmer from Canada with whom Bored Panda got in touch for an interview. He’s been making headlines with his explanation on why you shouldn’t throw away your food just because it’s the last or even several days beyond the expiration date.

The video is actually in response to another TikToker, one rizzzy.rizzz who said that if there’s an expiration date on a food item, he ain’t gonna eat it past the date.

So, enter Hayden, who with his charming charisma scoffs at the claim and demands the dude not waste food for one very simple reason: it’s not actually bad.

Farmer and TikToker Hayden Fox explains what the expiration date really is—a “peak freshness date”

“When I saw a TikTok with thousands of comments that read something along the line of ‘I would never eat something past its expiration date’ my heart sunk,” explained Hayden. “People have lost touch with where their food comes from and processors and retailers prey on this lack of information.”

He continues: “I’ve worked my entire life growing food, pouring my heart and soul into every grain that comes off the field. I didn’t put all that effort in just for the food to be thrown out.”

According to Hayden, people are being lied to by food companies about the expiration date. It’s not really an expiration date, but rather a “peak freshness” date, meaning that the food is best until that date, but it’s not bad after it. And for quite a while, depending on the food.

This is all done, as claims Hayden, so that the big fat cats in these food industry corporations can line their pockets with more money. How? Cause you get rid of what you didn’t eat and go get more almost immediately!

And it seems that this is a universal thing, regardless of the country: “Most of the food here in Canada comes from around the world, including the USA, and this misconception around expiration dates is present worldwide.”

Oh, wait, there’s more—expiration dates are just one of many things that are misleading on food packaging, as explains Hayden:

“Adding misleading labels is a big one! For example, it’s impossible for strawberries to be genetically modified, but many times you can see GMOs printed on the packaging. This allows grocery stores to charge more for the exact same product. Packing companies will add stickers like ‘gluten-free or ‘sugar-free’ when the food never contained these components to begin with.”

He continues: “Also, there is a very fine line between whether something can be classified as organic or not. Many times the foods that are labeled organic or are sold as organic have no real value added to consumers, other than the perception.”

And while the percentage of how much food is actually wasted varies between 40% and 60% depending on who you ask, it’s still a significant amount of food that, at the end of the day, should not be wasted at all.

Hayden also elaborates on the issue:

“There are two sections of the food industry. The producers and suppliers and the retailers and sellers of food. Producers of the food are always looking to increase production, and this comes at a very steep cost, meaning food waste is very costly to the producer. On the other hand, sellers need the food to have quick turnover as storage, transportation, and shelf space is very costly.”

“‘Most consumers mistakenly believe that expiration dates on food indicate how safe the food is to consume’ (CNN) and retailers don’t do anything to help change consumers’ perceptions. This correlation between expiration date and safety is false! The expiration date does not indicate whether there is a risk of food poisoning or increased chance of illness from consumption.”

The video was viewed by over 1.6 million people and liked by over 356,000 of them. The sudden viralness of the video came as a surprise to Hayden. He was shocked to see a lot of people as passionate about food waste as he is.

“Helping educate so many consumers on exactly how their food gets from the farm to the table makes me feel like a kid taking a ride in a tractor for the first time. This felt like the first tractor ride, but in the shiniest, biggest, badass tractor around,” elaborated Hayden.

“I wish people could see the work that goes into every bite of food they take. It’s easy to throw something out when we don’t appreciate the true value of it. We generate enough food to feed the entire world, but yet millions of people go hungry every day because we constantly waste the food we have.”



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