Do you check expiration dates?
It is my normal mode of operation to use these “Question of the Month” articles to explore various interesting topics in a fairly simple manner, while making an important “larger point”. This month will only be a slight, temporary diversion from the norm, taking somewhat of a break and providing some comical relief.
I recently received an interesting package in the mail from John P., one of the ministry’s supporters. It was a bulky envelope which piqued my curiosity. Upon opening the package, I discovered a salt shaker and a brief note stating the following:
“I hope you find this as humorous as I did. Perhaps I was just in a good mood. I was at a friend’s home and found this salt shaker on the table. Being a fanatical label reader, I picked it up and began reading. The label states that this salt is ‘250 million years old’. Not surprising, but then I read the label on the bottom and it said, ‘BEST BY 12 2023’. I’m glad I can use it up before it expires!”
Sometimes we walk into a store, and it just happens to be the last day of a week-long sales event. How lucky we may feel!
In the case of the salt, what a fortunate coincidence to have happened upon this very valuable, multi-purpose substance within the last 0.0000024% of its useful “shelf-life”! (Side note: Where did I come up with that figure? I divided the remaining years  by its current age [250 million years]). The obvious question is-- if the salt is truly about 250 million years old, how do they know it’s just now soon to expire? And a closely related question-- since the 250 million years is just an approximation, how can they be so precise with the “Best by” date?
As an added note of interest, the reason the label even mentioned the alleged age of the “Himalayan” salt was to make the point that this salt was created at a time when the Earth’s eco-environment was much more pure and pristine which, therefore makes their product more valuable than salts produced in more modern times.
Those of you who know me (and the ministry) realize I personally don’t believe the millions and billions of years designations are scientifically justified, but it is not my intention to turn this into a discussion of radiometric dating methods and the whole “age of the Earth” controversy. I simply wanted to pass along something of a humorous nature. I’m also not the kind to contact the company that produced this product to challenge them regarding their claim. Most likely, they are not experts in geology and simply had a clever marketer develop this label as an effective way to increase their bottom line. If you look carefully enough and often enough, you will find quite a few of these types of examples throughout the retail world.
How’s that for a brief article? I partially wanted to provide a slightly less serious “change of pace”, but maybe even more so, I was just too busy (with Christmas coming up in a few weeks) to write anything significantly more in depth or lengthy. (How’s that for transparency?)
I hope this was somewhat amusing for you. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
To print a copy, view PDF file.