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Social media experiment challenges those ‘use-by’ dates

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The use of social media might be making people smarter, but sadly that does not appear to be true for all topics. There are endless examples of social media being the excuse for all sorts of dumb and dangerous experiments.

Food has often been at the center of these self-destructive experiments. The latest of these was by a social media user who opted to eat out-of-date food in an attempt to determine how long food actually lasts compared with expiration dates.

The man found milk that was 41 days past its expiration date was “absolutely fine,” but in-date spinach made him sick.

The man said his experiment proved that you can ignore use-by dates without risking your health.

Beginning with year-old cheese kept in Tupperware, the “use-by” date experiment was undertaken to show people how to reduce food waste by people who toss still good food out of too much caution

The man pushing the “use-by” dates is named Gavin Wren, who is acting as a “Tik Toker.” His methods are not unlike the 19th Century “Poison Squad” that used human volunteers to consume food of unknown origins. It passed for scientific method during Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley’s tenure as USDA’s chief chemist

Those grisly experiments on human volunteers did help make food safer for consumers — and Wiley’s work still echoes on today.

Wren is not the first to claim more flexible “use-by” dates can be followed without being harmful to one’s health. Wren wants to help people reduce their food waste. Food waste could be massively reduced if people just stopped throwing so much good food away.

Wren is not suggesting people copy what he does. While he was eating past the use-by dates, he did get a “nasty round of food poisoning” from in-date spinach. He says some foods are just riskier than others.

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