Left on the shelf

24th February, 2007

Dear Economist,

When purchasing perishable food items I look for those that have the longest “use by” date, even if I intend to consume them immediately. As a result I often bypass items that will be within their “use by” date when I intend consuming them, in preference for items with an even longer shelf life. Can I be accused of being wasteful by not purchasing items with the shortest acceptable shelf life, since I am increasing the likelihood that they remain unsold?
Yours sincerely,
Andrew, London

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