Stop Wasting Food & Money! Learn What “Best Before” Labels Mean Before You Throw Food Away

Modern consumers are savvy: they want to save money, eat healthy foods, and live environmentally friendly lifestyles. It’s a tall order, but Ontario families are up to the challenge. 

However, the average Canadian wastes $1,777 per year in food (CBC), despite their best efforts to save money and prevent waste. According to the National Zero Waste Council (NZWC), a common source of food waste is the confusion surrounding common food labels, such as the “best before” label. People see these labels and incorrectly assume that any food near or just past the “best before” date is expired and no longer edible. This simply isn’t true!

Decoding Food Labels: What Does the “Best Before” Label Mean?

Food labels are becoming more detailed than ever. This is great for consumers, who want more information about the foods they’re eating so they can make educated choices. Some of the labels you commonly see on foods are nutrition labels, manufacturing labels (such as the lot number and where the item was made/packaged), and labels that list the “best before”, “expiry date”, and “packaged on” dates.

While all these different labels contain valuable information, it can be hard for the average person to decipher what each label means! 

While they seem similar at first, a “best before” date is not the same as an “expiry date”. The purpose of the “best before” date is to give consumers information about the freshness of the product when it’s unopened and stored under proper conditions. This means that the unopened product will not instantly expire the moment the “best before” date arrives. When stored properly, it will remain fine for consumption for a reasonable amount of time. So that unopened box of pasta that’s nearing its “best before” date, or is a week or two past the date? Don’t throw it away! It’s completely fine and you won’t notice any change in the quality of the product.

Know Your Labels: Prevent Food Waste, Save Money
& Help the Environment

To help combat unnecessary food waste, the NZWC released A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada report to help halve food waste by 2030. The report includes reconsidering how “best before” date labelling is approached. 

According to the report, food labels such as the ‘best before”, “use by”, “sell by”,  and “expiry” dates cause confusion amongst consumers, which leads to foods that are perfectly fine for consumption being thrown away. Greater clarity about food labels “would reduce the unnecessary disposal of safe and healthy food, either by consumers or businesses who remove them prematurely from their shelves” (NZWC). 

Understanding food labels also helps to prevent unnecessary landfill waste and greenhouse gas production, which are major contributors to environmental pollution. Reducing the amount of food wasted will not only save your family money, it’ll help the environment, according to the NZWC’s report:

“More than a third of food produced and distributed in Canada never gets eaten, with significant environmental, economic and social consequences. This grossly inefficient use of resources forces local governments into excessive costs for waste disposal, generates avoidable greenhouse gases at all stages of the production and distribution chain, and costs the Canadian economy up to $100 billion annually. In addition, organic waste in landfills, largely food, generates four per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gases” (NZWC).

Our Commitment to Helping Ontario Families Eat Better, Save Money & Reduce Food Waste

Farmway Foods is a strong believer in helping Ontario families save money and eat better. We also help our customers support local Ontario farmers by providing premium Ontario meats – which helps to grow our economy, support ethical farming practices, and reduce our reliance on imported foods.

We’re also strongly against food waste, which is why our meats are individually quick-frozen and vacuum-packed to reduce freezer burn and waste. We want our customers to maximize their dollar and not worry about throwing food away. Individually vacuum-packing each item means you can take out what you need and not worry about food spoilage or freezer burn, so you can enjoy every single one of your Farmway Foods products.

Farmway Foods Ontario Meat Delivery: Get Premium Quality Ontario Grass-Fed Beef, Free-Run Chicken, Pasture-Raised Pork & Wild-Caught Fish 

Our local Ontario meats from family-run farms are quick-frozen and vacuum-packed, so you can simply take out what you need from your freezer, defrost, and enjoy! Our goal is to make meal planning easy, so you have everything you need to cook delicious, healthy meals already at home. No more running to the grocery store at the last minute – Farmway Foods has you covered. Simply pick the plan that works best for your family and select your favourite products – we offer a wide variety of Ontario grass-fed beef, free-run chicken, pasture-raised pork, and wild-caught fish for you to choose from!

Ready to learn more? Contact us for more information on our local Ontario grass-fed beef and taste the difference yourself!

How To Cook Local Ontario Meats for the Holidays

The holiday season is always bustling! Between gift shopping and special events, everyday chores like grocery shopping might be missed on your to-do list. But before you know it, your big family dinner will be around the corner. This is where Farmway Foods comes to the rescue with our meat delivery in Ontario! Our top-quality local Ontario meats and free home delivery make your life easier during the holidays… and every day of the year!

Easy & Delicious Meals for Your Whole Family 

Roasts may look intimidating, but they’re surprisingly easy to cook if you know what to do! Our meats are from local Ontario farms, so you can feel good about serving your family the best quality (and tastiest!) foods on the market. Keep reading to discover three easy holiday meals that your family will love.

Sirloin Beef Roast from Ontario Grass-Fed Beef

  • Season your sirloin beef roast as desired. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line your pan with your favourite veggies and herbs for extra flavour (garlic, carrots, onions, and celery are good choices). Add a bit of water to the pan and lay your beef roast on top of the veggies.


  • Bake your sirloin beef roast in the oven. You’ll need to cook it for about 15 minutes for every pound. This means a 4lb beef roast would take about an hour to cook. You can also use a meat thermometer to ensure you know when your roast is done cooking: the thickest part of your beef roast should be a temperature of about 115-125°F (depending on how well you like your meat cooked).


  • Turn off your oven and loosely cover the top of your roast in aluminum foil. Let it sit in the oven for between 20-40 minutes, depending on how ‘done’ you’d like your roast to be. If you’re using a meat thermometer to measure the ‘doneness’ of your roast:

130°F for rare
145°F for med-rare
160°F for medium
170°F for well-done

  • Remove your roast from the oven. Set it sit for another 20 minutes (still wrapped in aluminum foil). Then you’re ready to carve up your beef roast and enjoy!

Black Forest Ham from Ontario Pasture-Raised Pork

  • Black forest ham is perfectly spiced, cured, and aged before it reaches your freezer. This makes it the easiest of all to cook: just let it defrost in your refrigerator overnight and sliced it as desired!


  • If you’d like to heat up your black forest ham, preheat your oven to 325°F. Put your ham in a shallow baking dish and let it bake for about 15 minutes per pound. You can use a meat thermometer to check when your ham is done (an internal temperature of 140°F).

Whole Chicken from Ontario Free-Run Chicken

  • Preheat your oven to 450°F. Remove any giblets from inside your whole chicken. Don’t rinse your chicken before cooking. Pat your chicken with paper towels to ensure its dry (your chicken should be dry inside and out, so the skin becomes crispy while cooking).


  • Salt your chicken generously and add spices, oil or butter, as desired. Truss your chicken by tying its legs together with kitchen twine. This will ensure the chicken cooks more evenly.


  • Put your whole chicken inside the baking or roasting pan, breast-side up. You can line the pan with chopped veggies and place the chicken on top of the veggies, if desired.


  • Lower your oven’s heat to 400°F. Let your whole chicken cook for about 15 minutes per pound (a 6lb chicken will take about 1.5 hours to cook).


  • Check your chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure its done. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh should be about 165°F when done.


  • Remove your chicken from the oven and move it to a clean cutting board. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Now you’re ready to carve your chicken and serve!

Serve Your Family Ontario Grass-Fed Beef, Pasture-Raised Pork & Free-Run Chicken from Local Ontario Farms

The holidays are a busy time of year, and you might not have time battle the crowd at the grocery store to pick up your meal time essentials! Farmway Foods makes your holiday season easier by providing convenient meat delivery in Ontario. When you partner with an Ontario meat delivery company like Farmway Foods, you can feel good about knowing you have everything you need to cook delicious family meals in your freezer.

We proudly work with local Ontario family-run farms to provide our customers with top-quality Ontario meats, including grass-fed beef, free-run chicken, and pasture-raised pork. Get in touch with us today to build your order.

Defrosting 101: How to Defrost Your Local Ontario Meats

Farmway Foods steak from Ontario grass-fed beef

We want you to love your Farmway Foods products and enjoy sharing delicious meals with your family! Because our meats are quick-frozen and vacuum-packed, most of our products need to be properly defrosted before they can be enjoyed. That’s why we want to share the best way to defrost your local Ontario meats.

How to Defrost Your Farmway Foods Meats

  • Remove the product you’d like to cook from your freezer.
  • Place the product in your refrigerator to defrost. Keep the product sealed in its original vacuum-packaging while defrosting.
  • Defrosting times may vary per product (please refer to the specific product instructions on the box or on our product pages). Many products can be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator (with the exception of fish and breaded products, which should be cooked from frozen).
  • Cook the meat as soon as it’s defrosted.

For more information regarding best defrosting practices, please refer to the instructions on the CFIA and Health Canada websites:

“The safest way to defrost any food is in the refrigerator. Place the meat in a clean container or platter that will hold any juices leaking out of the food. Place it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent accidental cross-contamination of other food. Cook the meat as soon as it’s defrosted.”
Health Canada

It’s important to us that you’re able to fully enjoy your delicious Farmway Foods products and cook them in the healthiest, safest way possible!

If you have any specific product questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our customer service team.

Thank you for being a loyal Farmway Foods customer! Enjoy cooking your local Ontario meats and creating amazing dishes for your family!