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Government Urges Eating Some Foods Way, Way Past Their Expiration Dates

So think twice before throwing it away!

Patrick Lux/Getty Images

How's that milk in the back of the fridge doing? And how long have those eggs been sitting there on that little side shelf? According to the Washington Examiner, the United States Department of Agriculture is now encouraging consumers to eat certain foods past their expiration dates — in some cases, long past their expirations dates.

A video from the USDA explains, "Many products may have a sell-by date of say April 1 but they could be good in your pantry for another 12 or 18 months. And by throwing those out, what you're doing, is you're contributing to food waste in the United States." That's right: that baby food you're tossing out might be good for another eighteen months.

The Feds estimate that 21% of available food in America goes uneaten, leading to 36 pounds of uneaten food per month, per person. The USDA announced earlier this month on its blog that they've created an app for smartphones which will help consumers figure out different products' shelf lives and get specific tips on storage of certain kinds of foods. The app, which is called "Foodkeeper," is part of a larger joint effort by the USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce food waste in a project called the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.