Okay guys, time for some real talk. I'm sure this one speaks to each of us on some level.\nHave you ever been going through your fridge to find a quick snack just to get frustrated and see that you missed the expiry date printed on your, let's say yogurt?\nOr maybe you mistakenly took a swig of sour milk, or found that your coffee cream rose to the top of your cup?\nREAD ALSO: One Of Montreal's Biggest Terrasses Is Now Open On Lachine Canal\nThis is something I am sure all of us have experienced to some degree.\nExpiration, or "Best Before" dates printed on our food items can be a tad bit confusing to Canadians. It seems that the majority of our population doesn't really get it.\nA new study in Canada is dealing with this exact issue has come out, as we are costing our economy tons of money and wasting a ton of great food as well.\nIn fact, food waste in Canada costs us around $31B every year! This may sound extreme, and that is because it is! True fact.\nView this post on Instagram #CanadianFoodWasteFacts ⚠️ A post shared by Eatonomy (@eatonomyrewards) on Nov 1, 2017 at 12:37pm PDT\nThe National Zero Waste Council blames this on the confusing, at times unnecessary, "Best Before" dates we print on some of our grocery items.\nThe study says that Canadians are among some of the biggest food wasters in the world! With a staggering total of 47% of food waste happening in our own homes. I know I am guilty of this.\nGlobal News did some coverage of this issue, and in a video, they asked some folks shopping in their local grocery store about the "best before" date on the food.\nThose asked responded "if it is before the date, its good to go. Anything after I throw out." or some paraphrased version of the same statement.\nView this post on Instagram When delicious mustard is involved "best before" dates are optional. 6 years is nothing. #mustard #bestbeforedate #delicious #vintage A post shared by Marty Worrall (@martyworrallmusic) on Jul 21, 2013 at 3:31pm PDT\nThe problem here is that many of us don't actually understand that "best before" means exactly what it says. The item in question would be "best" before the date printed.\nNot expired. Not unsafe for consumption. This may seem like common sense, but you know deep down you're probably guilty, too!\nThe best before date printed on food just refers to the quality of the item before and after the date printed. Unless the package has been opened, they are totally safe to consume.\nSo why even bother printing the date in the first place? Because it relates to the best quality for that product - says Dr. Gary Sandberg, a food scientist.\nIn Canada, "Best Before" dates must be printed on pre-packaged foods that will stay fresh for 90 days or less. Once the package is opened, the best before date is no longer valid.\nHere are some different examples.\nMilk - can last 7 days after the best before date, opened or unopenedEggs - 3-4 weeks past the "sell by" dateYogurt - lasts 7-10 days after it's been opened.\n"As long as the package hasn't been opened, then you're probably good for a certain amount of time afterward." - Dr. Gary Sandberg.\nNow, expiration dates are a totally different story. They're not required on all foods, just special dietary use. Foods with these date markers should never be consumed after the printed expiration date.\nCan goods, so long as the can remains intact, stay fine for consumption well after the best before date, too. Just make sure the can isn't damaged in any way, but the food itself is fine - if only lacking some freshness in flavour.\nThe problem here is simple confusion.\nSo, pay attention to the dates on your grocery items, and understand the differences between "Best Before" and "Expiry Date" or "Consumed by" dates - because they all hold different values.\nHaving this knowledge moving forward will help to deter the amount of food waste we experience here in Canada. Much of it being foods that we tend to take for granted.\nWe're in 2018, the world is changing, and we need to follow suit.\n@olio_exembedded via\nSame facts from the U.K. are true for Canada, as well!\nReducing our waste, specifically speaking in terms of food, is important - especially now that some of our most popular grocery items may become more expensive thanks to the impending trade wars between Canada and the U.S.\nNow, I still stand by the mentality that if something seems (or smells, rather) to be questionable, toss it.\nStill, being more mindful of what these dates actually mean, and thinking of what type of item it is can help save you some bucks and better our countries consumption as a whole.\nYou can read the full study right here. Source 2.