“Best before, often good after”

Re-Scripting the Date Label of Food in Norway

  • Tanja Plasil NTNU


In 2018, several Norwegian food producers added a new phrase to date labels of packaged foods: best before (date), often good after. Why and how did they do this? By using two concepts from Actor-Network Theory, translation and script, this article reveals how a seemingly simple addition to a label can reveal underlying issues and policies. This case study sheds light both on how the script of the date label was used to translate UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 about food waste reduction into everyday use and practice and how the date label moved from the domain of food policy making towards the realm of environmental politics.


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