January 11, 2023

Resolve to reduce food waste this year by turning stale bread and soured milk into something new and delicious.

Date labels go by many names including best-by-date, expiration-date, sell-by-date, and use-by-date. There is no regulating body that dictates to food manufacturers what label to use or how long a certain product will be good for. So, what does the date label on a food product mean? These dates are set by manufacturers to help manage inventory and ensure that the food product is as good when it is eaten as when it was placed on the shelf. Food manufacturers don’t want the customer to have a less-than-perfect experience with their product, so date labels are designed to provide a conservative estimate of when food is at its freshest, not when it’s no longer safe to eat. In the United States, infant formula is the only food product that is federally regulated and required to have a date label.

So, rather than relying on date labels to tell if foods in your home are still fresh, use your senses as our grandmothers and grandfather did. Milk and yogurt have distinct smells and tastes when they start to sour. Bread and hard cheeses develop visible mold when they begin to spoil.

And even when foods do begin to turn – there are often opportunities to save some of these commonly wasted household foods.


Reviving Stale Bread

If you find yourself with stale bread, here are a few great recipes to help you reuse it:

French Toast


Elevating Sour Milk

Did you know that soured milk has been used in recipes for centuries? And families today are even using it in their favorite batch of soft, chewy oatmeal cookies. Check out the following cookie and other recipes for ways to creatively reuse soured milk:

Cottage Cheese
Marinade for meat
Oatmeal Cookies
Sour Cream
Sour Milk Pancakes



For a comprehensive tool on how to revive all kinds of foods, check out Save The Food’s Storage guide.