I’m working on a english discussion question and need an explanation to help me learn.
This assignment include one Initial post and two responses posts.
This week, we will take some time to discuss a current situation and debate that is still taking place in the professional world. Listen to this podcast on expiration dates and food labels: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/best-enjoyed-by/ (Links to an external site.). After you’ve listened to the entire podcast, please discuss the following questions with the class:
Given that there seems to be little (if any) relationship between expiration dates and food safety, what is the responsibility of the companies that package food? Is it up to the company to ensure that the consumer understands the difference between a “best if used by” date and an “expires on” date? How should the needs of the audience or consumer affect this kind of communication? Please explain your answer and feel free to walk around your house/dorm and take pictures of such dates to share with the class. The photos will definitely give us something to consider/discuss when it comes to concise writing vs. empathetic/humanistic understanding.
Please respond to the two following posts:
Student A’s post: “I believe that the responsibility of the companies that package food is to inform customers of the expiration date in a clear and consistent format. Honestly, I seem to have bought, stored, and discarded food products by looking at the date rather than the label that says “best if used by” or “expires on.” I didn’t know the apparent difference between the two. After listening to this podcast, I found out exactly that the best if used by is not the expiration date. I think it is the company’s responsibility to ensure that consumers understand the difference between the “best if used by” date and the “expires on” date. Still, on the one hand, I don’t think that companies are solely responsible unless consumers try to know about it. Because food companies label their products, they can tell consumers the difference between “best if used by” and “expires on” date more quickly and accurately than anyone else. However, if consumers buy and judge food by looking at the date only without knowing the meaning of the label, this information is useless. But still, many consumers want to know the exact date and what it means. Food companies use a variety of designs and phrases to advertise their products when packaging. If a food company adds an easy explanation design of the difference between “best if used by” and “expires on” when packaging food, it will help understand for consumers. In other words, this will let the consumer know more clearly what the date on the food means. That way, consumers will be able to consume food wisely. I believe this approach can help reduce the amount of food thrown away. Finally, I got to look carefully again at how food companies label and stamp dates on food. The photo is the “best if used by” label and date on soy milk.”
Student B’s post: “This is an interesting topic and I’ve recently become aware of the differences in some of the food labeling. I think that the food and packaging companies should date label the foods correctly as said in the podcast. The amount of foods being thrown out due to the labeling is unsettling. BUT in order for the companies to do that, the food / consumer industry should come up with correct standardized labels so that there isn’t confusion amongst all of them.
For example, I agree with having the expiration date on foods that actually expire, along with a best by date- meaning foods are still safe to eat but has reached its peak freshness. If these were the two standardized labels, then yes I think the consumer should be responsible to know the difference between two. This will eliminate items that go to waste after their posted sell by dates and other labeling that I find too complicated to understand as an average consumer.
The needs of the consumer should have great affect on the labels because it also affects the companies that the products came from. Throwing items out due to the best by date can lead to consumers thinking that these items spoil too quickly leading us to try other brands or substitute products. With the consumer and products in mind, the industry should know that it would be advantageous to everyone to standardize a small number of date labels. “