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  • - Hey, I'm Jasmine.

  • You might know me from Buzzfeed Bring Me!'s

  • "Giant Food Time."

  • I'm a huge foodie, I cook all the time,

  • and food is just a huge part of my identity.

  • And something I learned recently was sell-by dates.

  • You know when you buy food at the store

  • and it has those little date labels on them?

  • Those labels are called sell-by dates,

  • and the way I've operated my entire life

  • is that if that date had passed,

  • I threw the food away, no questions asked.

  • To better myself, I decided to tackle this learning

  • in a very real and public way: by only eating food

  • that has safely gone past its sell-by date for 72 hours.

  • That's everything from canned food, to dairy,

  • to vegetables, to even tea.

  • But, before I jump into this adventure,

  • I want to make sure that I'm going to be consuming anything

  • that will make me sick or misinform the world.

  • So I'm heading over to UCLA

  • to meet with Dr. Catherine Carpenter,

  • who has a PhD in Nutrition to learn more.

  • Catherine, I'm so excited to be here.

  • I have so many questions.

  • So first question.

  • When did we start putting sell-by dates on food?

  • - Well, the whole idea about providing dates

  • was actually a movement started by consumers in the '70s.

  • And the food industry picked up on this.

  • It's been quite successful as far as giving the consumers

  • a timeframe to make sure that the food will be fresh,

  • but on the other side,

  • it's also causing a lot of food waste.

  • - I'm guilty of that.

  • I feel like I toss a lot of food

  • once I see that it's past the sell-by,

  • even though I would look at that, and I'm like,

  • "It might still be good," but I have a sensitive stomach,

  • so I just don't want to take that risk.

  • So how strictly should I follow the sell-by date guideline?

  • - It's a message from the food industry to the retailer,

  • telling them to pull the food off the shelf,

  • so it isn't necessarily the date when the food goes bad.

  • These dates are designed really to protect the public,

  • and they're not fixed; so, in other words,

  • you do have a little more time afterwards.

  • - Are there certain foods that I should really avoid

  • eating past its sell-by date?

  • - Perishable food, so things like meat and dairy.

  • These foods can go bad.

  • They come from living tissue.

  • You want to be more careful about the dates,

  • and you want to make sure that you prepare them quickly

  • and/or you store them properly

  • and/or you freeze them right away.

  • And that's very different from foods

  • like cereals or pastas.

  • Those foods, they've already been prepared,

  • they're basically pretty dried out,

  • and the worst thing that can happen is they'll go stale.

  • Also what's the other way to tell if meat is good or not?

  • You smell it, you look at it.

  • If it smells rotten, whatever the date is,

  • unfortunately, you'll have to let it go.

  • It's important, I think,

  • for the public to develop more awareness

  • about how much power they have in their own life

  • actually to make a difference.

  • - Okay, so taking that all into consideration,

  • what's your biggest advice as I go into the next 72 hours,

  • eating food past its sell-by date?

  • - Let's have the idea that the food's gonna tate good,

  • and let's just prepare it

  • as though there was nothing wrong with it.

  • - Hopefully, I can do that, and I can reduce my waste,

  • and also become a better consumer in the future.

  • (upbeat music)

  • So I went through my entire cabinet

  • and I found one or two of these past the sell-by date,

  • and I thought, "Hmm, I don't have a lot of things,

  • "but you who does?

  • "Asian mothers."

  • So I came to my mom's house.

  • She's not here right now.

  • I'm gonna raid her entire cabinet

  • and take out all the things that are past the sell-by date.

  • I'm pretty positive there's gonna be a bunch.

  • So after grocery shopping at my mom's house,

  • this is what I have.

  • Biscoff cookies, best by August 26, 2019.

  • Miso soup base, July 8, 2019.

  • Some rock sugar, best by 2016.

  • Then we've got our flax seeds, best before March 6, 2018.

  • Some steel-cut oats, best before November 10, 2019.

  • And black bean sauce mix, otherwise known as jjajang,

  • best before September 27th, 2019.

  • There's a lot of good stuff here.

  • I think they're still good.

  • I've kind of sniffed some.

  • I think I'm gonna be able to easily make these meals.

  • Yay for things not going to waste!

  • Good morning.

  • It's Day 1 of eating foods past its sell-by date.

  • I have my celery,

  • which is past its best-by date of about four days.

  • I'm gonna make some celery juice to kick off my morning,

  • and I think it'll taste great, but we'll see.

  • Cheers!

  • Ah!

  • I love celery juice.

  • It's Day 1, lunchtime.

  • I have these noodles.

  • They actually expired in 2018, and it's an opened bag.

  • But I smelled it, and it smells fine.

  • Usually, I can smell when it's gone stale,

  • but this one doesn't smell stale.

  • So I finished making my lunch.

  • It's using the expired noodles from 2018,

  • and on top is Sichuan-style boiled fish,

  • and topped with green onions and white pepper.

  • Mmm!

  • Oh my god, so good!

  • If those noodles got thrown away, I would have been so sad.

  • They're so good!

  • It's dinnertime for Day 1.

  • I'm going to be making black bean noodles

  • with steak, squash, and onions.

  • I don't have noodles

  • because I already ate my expired noodles

  • and I don't have noodles at home,

  • so I'm making them.

  • Okay, look at this!

  • I can get with this.

  • - Wow, that's a nice noodle.

  • - This is good noodle!

  • So this black bean sauce is best before September 27, 2019.

  • It's never been opened,

  • so I think it should be okay, actually.

  • Babe, this sauce expired a year ago.

  • - Oh, okay.

  • But it was like powdered.

  • It was like dry sauce.

  • - Yeah, and it was not an open package.

  • I've been eating expired foods

  • or food past its best-by and sell-by date all day,

  • and my butthole is fine.

  • - Can we dig in?

  • - Yeah.

  • (slurping)

  • Mmm.

  • - Oh, that was so good.

  • I wish everything expired could taste like this.

  • - Mm-hmm.

  • Yum.

  • (claps)

  • That's that.

  • Morning.

  • It's Day 2 of the challenge,

  • and this morning, I'm gonna have some miso soup,

  • instant miso soup for breakfast,

  • and this one is best before July 8, 2019.

  • (sad trumpet blows)

  • I think this one's really best before July 2019.

  • I think that really strong miso flavor is gone.

  • Maybe I put too much water.

  • Now I'm at this small dilemma, where I'm like,

  • to waste or not to waste.

  • Uh.

  • Hey.

  • I'm making the decision to toss this,

  • because at the end of the day,

  • if you're eating food past its sell-by date,

  • I think it's best to be safe.

  • Dr. Catherine said to taste it, to smell it,

  • and if it doesn't feel right,

  • then it's probably best to throw it out.

  • And so that's what I'm gonna do.

  • The miso soup does not taste good.

  • This the red bean.

  • The date on here is March 9, 2019,

  • so nearly a year past its best-by, expiration, sell-by date.

  • I don't know.

  • Not sure.

  • It doesn't really specify.

  • And I also have sweet potato starch.

  • This one is only past its date by a month or so.

  • This is what I'm gonna do.

  • I'm gonna use the sweet potato starch,

  • mix it in with some stewed sweet potatoes

  • and make some sweet potato rice balls,

  • and then I'm also going to use the red beans as a topping

  • for a shaved ice I'm gonna make.

  • Lastly, we're gonna add the grass jelly.

  • And then we're gonna add some condensed milk.

  • I made shaved ice.

  • Yay!

  • All that work for this.

  • Well, it's worth it, 'cause you know what?

  • We're quarantined.

  • Mmm.

  • I'm happy.

  • This is worth getting a stomachache

  • for the miso soup this morning.

  • Mmm.

  • Good morning.

  • It's the final 24 hours of eating food

  • past its sell-by date.

  • So for Day 3, I still have a lot of things to use

  • that I haven't used, and I'm not gonna let them go to waste,

  • so I'm gonna do a lot of cooking today.

  • For breakfast, I'm gonna start out with a smoothie bowl

  • topped with hemp hearts.

  • And this was best before July 2018.

  • Mmm.

  • Oh, good texture.

  • Mmm.

  • I like it.

  • Okay, time for a midday snack.

  • I'm gonna use these these Biscoff cookies

  • that were best before August 26, 2019.

  • Mm, smells good.

  • Nice and brown sugary.

  • Mmm.

  • Okay, that's good.

  • The last meal with these foods past its date

  • on the packaging.

  • I've gone with these two items for tonight,

  • Quick Grits and steel-cut oats.

  • The steel-cut oats were best before November 10, 2019,

  • and the Quick Grits were best before April 26, 2019.

  • So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make the grits,

  • garlic butter grits.

  • And for the steel-cut oats,

  • I'm gonna process these and turn into a batter

  • so I can use it as the crust on air-fried cod.

  • And then I'll eat that with a side of asparagus.

  • Mmm.

  • I guess that's 72 hours of eating foods

  • that stores probably wouldn't sell, and I'm still alive.

  • I think I made some pretty good meals too.

  • If everyone in the world knew what the words

  • on their packaging actually meant,

  • we'd be wasting a lot less fun.

  • This was fun.

  • This was good.

  • This really challenged me.

  • The Earth is gonna be much happier now,

  • because I will change my habits.

  • (upbeat music)