“Sell By” And “Best By” Dates on Food Are Basically Made Up—But Hard to Get Rid Of
Food stamp eligibility is complicated, and the rules change often. This page is a good starting point, but the best way to find out if you’re eligible for food stamps is to apply for them. If you have a question that we haven’t answered here, let us know. Oct 25, · Do I Qualify for Food Stamps? How many people are in your household? To be eligible for SNAP, first figure out the total number of people in your household — the total household income must be below a certain number based on the number of people in the household. What are your resources? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, households may have $2, in .
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To figure out if you qualify for food stamps, South Carolina needs to know your: Household size: How many people you live and buy/make food with.; Income: How much money your household makes. This includes both earned income (the money you make from jobs) and unearned income (cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support, etc.). Apr 17, · Stacker compiled a list of the states where food stamps are used the most using SNAP data released July 10, , by the USDA. The number of households and the poverty rate are current as of data from the Census Bureau. States are ranked by the percent of households that received food stamps in April SNAP food stamp program provides assistance to pay for groceries and food. The federal government funded SNAP program, which is officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, was created to help low income individuals and families buy the food as well as groceries that they need on a .
But these dates are—essentially—made up. Nobody regulates how long milk or cheese or bread stays good, so companies can essentially print whatever date they want on their products.
In the past few years, a bunch of food writers have explained to grocery shoppers that they should probably ignore those little numbers and just check to see if the food looks or smells bad.
But, if sell-by dates are so useless, why do we even have them? In Europe, sell-by dates are mandatory by law. But, according to Mic Wright at the Guardian :. The humble sell-by date actually has a surprisingly short history. It wasn't even actually called a "sell-by-date" until Marks is so proud of its innovation that Twiggy trumpets it in their latest ad campaign. In the United States, federal law requires only that infant formula be dated , but many states have similar regulations for products like milk, eggs and meat.
But most food manufacturers date pretty much everything anyway. There's a fun bit of speculation , which one reporter attributed to a park ranger at Alcatraz , that Al Capone popularized expiration dates on milk back in the s. He bought up a milk processor, called Meadowmoor Dairies, and he lobbied the Chicago City Council to pass a law requiring visible date stamps on milk containers. The NRDC report details how consumers in the s started to buy more processed foods, and as they got further away from the direct production of the ingredients in their meals, they got more worried about just how safe and fresh those ingredients were:.
Open dating uses a date label that includes a month, day, and year in a format clearly evident to the consumer. Out of a nationwide survey of , shoppers published in , 89 percent of respondents favored this kind of dating system. Throughout the s, many supermarkets voluntarily adopted open dating systems in response to mounting consumer interest. In response, states started mandating labeling laws, many of which we still live with today. Some have tried to get rid of the unscientific labels, but when the U.
There's also speculation out there that manufacturers want you to use the dates because it means you wind up throwing out and buying more of their product.
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