Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Does your household have a freshness date Nazi? 

Are you or somebody you live with a freshness date Nazi? That is, do you toss stuff from the fridge just because it is past the date the manufacturer stamped on the package? If so, you are wasting your money.

Humanity became an exceedingly successful species without freshness dates. Considering doing your wallet a favor and using the tools that God gave you to determine whether food is too old to eat -- sight, smell, and taste. So sez me.

Regular blogging will resume forthwith.

UPDATE (late Wed night): Dang, I can't believe that I forgot to link back to this post. That's what happens when you've been blogging for almost seven years.


By Anonymous John Foster, at Wed Sep 01, 08:49:00 AM:

Whoa! That is so controversial. You are going to get so flamed, man.  

By Blogger "Mindles H. Dreck", at Wed Sep 01, 08:49:00 AM:

So now we're like Nazis?

I bid you good day sir!  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Sep 01, 08:54:00 AM:

Mindles, say it ain't so!

Flamed, yeah, it's been the week for that.  

By Blogger DEC, at Wed Sep 01, 09:14:00 AM:

TH: "If so, you are wasting your money."

I'll tell the cook and the maids.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Sep 01, 09:23:00 AM:

Heh, DEC, great to have you back and commenting.  

By Blogger DEC, at Wed Sep 01, 09:31:00 AM:

Thank you, TH.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Wed Sep 01, 10:14:00 AM:

Freshness date? What freshness date?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Sep 01, 10:19:00 AM:

We don't need no stinkin' freshness date!  

By Blogger pam, at Wed Sep 01, 10:31:00 AM:

We don't indeed, TH. Guides they are, and often lousy ones at that!

And don't get me started on medications!  

By Blogger KnightErrant, at Wed Sep 01, 11:26:00 AM:

Vomiting and death are also good ways to determine outdated food.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Wed Sep 01, 11:31:00 AM:

In Central America I have eaten beans that sat in an unrefrigerated but screened off food safe- like the old pie safe- for a day or two. Maybe three. I have suffered no ill effects, nor did my hosts. Maybe the chilies on the side killed off the harmful bacteria and protozoa.

It was in the mountains, so the food wasn't subjected to temperatures in the 90s.  

By Blogger Kurt, at Wed Sep 01, 01:33:00 PM:

I only use them when cleaning out the refrigerator: "This has been in here how long? Oh, it's probably not so great anymore." For instance, how long are tortillas supposed to be good? I recently tossed a half-used bag which had been in the refrigerator since May or June. After some point, I was afraid to eat them, but there was no mold or other signs of spoilage, so I just left the bag there until I was motivated to clean the refrigerator out again.  

By Blogger pam, at Wed Sep 01, 02:31:00 PM:

That's what my co-workers do here with their food, Kurt. I kind of like looking at the mold and etc. they grow, so I just let them go about their business.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Sep 01, 02:42:00 PM:

Opposite problem. My wife was out of town and I used to opportunity to clean out the breadbox in the kitchen (normally her domain).

I discovered at least one new life form and about a dozed sepia toned Halloween popcorn packets.

My son recognized the packets as halloween treats he got from trick or treating.

My son is now 27....  

By Anonymous randye, at Wed Sep 01, 03:23:00 PM:

We were talking about this yesterday at our local food pantry. in theory we more or less use something like this:


in practice, those of us who have been hungry try to remember act accordingly.  

By Blogger pam, at Wed Sep 01, 04:47:00 PM:

"in practice, those of us who have been hungry try to remember act accordingly"

Beautifully written...  

By Blogger druu222, at Wed Sep 01, 07:54:00 PM:

Funny you should mention this....

I have just eaten a sandwich with some standard French's mustard on it. I'm a big frou-frou mustard fan, so I am always eating Spicy brown, Jack Daniel's Honey, stuff like that. As a result, poor basic French's bottle wound up in the back of the Fridge. I'm just finishing it now.

It's dated, "Best by December, 2007".

Tastes just fine.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Wed Sep 01, 08:43:00 PM:

We have no freshness date Nazis. We have a team of amateur biologists. If a new form of bio-warfare is invented, it will spring from our Kitchen-Aid.


By Blogger DM, at Wed Sep 01, 09:34:00 PM:

Like ZOMG TH - worst. post. ever.

You just don't get it, do you. Seriously, now Glenn Beck's a Nazi?


By Blogger DM, at Wed Sep 01, 09:34:00 PM:

This comment has been removed by the author.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Wed Sep 01, 11:06:00 PM:

Our local food bank is a freshness date Nazi. Any food donated that is over the date is thrown away rather than given to the poor. There isn't any lack of food to give away because the local capitalistic food corportations are so generous, so I guess it isn't that big a deal. Perhaps they are just Freshness Date Facists, or something.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Wed Sep 01, 11:15:00 PM:

Wow, I read the aricle. My Dad, the doctor, was right about health food! He used to say, "You have to be careful with health food, it can make you very sick."

Doctors think some of the strangest stuff is funny.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 01, 11:32:00 PM:

Nothing goes to waste if you have a terrier in the family.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Sep 02, 03:42:00 AM:

*growl* Generally, the date on an item is the SELL BY date, not any sort of "use by" or expiration date....


By Anonymous Steve Skubinna, at Thu Sep 02, 06:02:00 AM:

Nothing wrong with the sniff test. It's one of the things the nose was evolved to do.

And to the discarder of old tortillas: shame on you! Do what the Mexicans do with stale corn tortillas, and make chilaquiles. One of my all time favorite breakfasts!  

By Blogger Mr. Bingley, at Thu Sep 02, 06:49:00 AM:

One major problem with the article though: it uses the words "kraft" and "mayonnaise" in the same sentence, almost as if they are somehow related.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Thu Sep 02, 10:32:00 AM:

As somebody who once had the wife throw out a bar of sharp chedder because "it had mold on it", you have my sympathy. (of course it has mold on it woman, thats what makes it sharp...)

We really need a soundtrack for this thread. I would suggest Weird Al's "Livin in the Fridge" or George Carlin's "Icebox Man".  

By Blogger Kurt, at Thu Sep 02, 11:29:00 AM:

Steve Skubinna: Is it actually safe to use tortillas that have been sitting in the refrigerator for three months? I figured that there was no way they could still be good.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Sep 02, 11:39:00 AM:

That might be a complicated question, Kurt.

Different levels of "bad" hit folks differently. (It's not like it's an on/off switch, it's more like a continuum.)

TL:DR after this.
My mom's mom could eat stuff that would have made my mom and I sick; last year, when my mom, two of her brothers and most of their children went to the same Mexican restaurant and got food poisoning from the refried beans, only my generation got it.
My mom utterly ignores dates on anything that isn't vet supplies; her mom thought nothing of scraping off part of an inch-thick fuzz on top of cottage cheese, wiping off that spoon and eating from the container.

If your body isn't use to dealing with higher levels of byproducts, you'll get sick easier.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Thu Sep 02, 12:48:00 PM:

Foxfier's comment makes me think of a farm visit I took in the Catskills. The farmer (escapee from Connecticut, son of a doctor) pointed to his strapping teen kids as examples of what living amidst germs can do for you: they never seemed to get sick. His comment, "the world needs more exposure to e. coli, not less of it..." if you want healthy young'uns.

Of course, the guy could be a stand-up comedian if the farming gig doesn't work out.  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Thu Sep 02, 01:34:00 PM:

The first time I stayed over at X's house, she served me some cornflakes the next morning. Their flavor was odd, their consistency very crisp. I checked the sell-by date, which suggested they should have been sold 10 years previously. I thought, "Perhaps this will be my first relationship where her frugality is actually a problem."

This thought was, like, totally prophetic.  

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