Thursday, December 3, 2009

Before you know it, I'll be eating 3 day old doughnuts from a dumper

I have a question. Do you eat expired food? When I was a kid, if something expired, we instantly tossed it out. My mother treated expired food like poison. Of course I internalized this, and quickly tossed out any food that was expired.

But recently, I realized that this habit is incredibly wasteful. So I did a little searching online, and discovered that expired food isn't actually bad for you at all. According to the Food Standards Agency, "Best-before is an indication of quality rather than safety. Eating food past the best-before date does not necessarily put someone at risk from food poisoning." I read another article that said, "Expiration dates do not refer to a throw away date. Once the food passes the expiration date, food quality slowly diminishes. This does not mean that expired boxed food has suddenly become poisonous, it just means that cereal that is 6 months past the "Best By" date is not quite as crispy or fresh."

So I have a new policy. All dairy products are thrown out within a day or two of their expiration date, but we are using canned goods and dry goods that have recently expired. I use the term "recently" very loosely. Just last week I found a can of expired Ghirardelli cocoa powder in the cupboard. It expired in December of 2008 (how in the hell does anyone forget about chocolate for a whole year?). I just used it to make muffins this morning, and they tasted great. I haven't died yet, so I think we are safe.

How about you? Do you eat expired food?

11 comments:

Carrie said...

Yes I do. And I use medicines after the expiration date, up to a year if it is a powder/solid or 6 months if it is a liquid.

Jenny said...

I do...I just made chocolate chip cookies with chips that expired in 07' and the cookies tasted fine. Mind you the chocolate was not from my house but my mother in laws. Chocolate does not stand a chance in our house.

msprimadonna67 said...

Oh yeah. We have basically looked at expiration dates as casual suggestions in my household. All except the teenager. She's a rule-follower by nature, and she's afraid something dire will happen if she consumes something past the expiration date.

Just Jiff said...

Yes. I use all things expired. Dairy products are the exception, of course.

dani said...

i took a big gulp of soured milk once and have heeded all expiration dates since then!!! now, that being said, if i were to find a box of cocoa i'd forgotten... i'd use it til it was gone:b
love,
dani

Mama Kalila said...

It depends on what it is exactly. Even milk we'll go a little past the date if it lasts that long... but not w/ out testing it first lol. Chocolate, oh yeah... You can see when it really goes bad. Spices some last longer than others but I know they won't hurt you either, just affects the taste. I did find a can of salmon that is way past its date and has me a little wary... is about the only can I can think of ever thinking about though. Food just doesn't last that long normally lol.

Eva said...

Yeah, depending on the item and how it looks/smells.

amanda said...

nope. i pitch it as soon as the date arrives. done. trash. uck.

we are constantly throwing out old food at both my moms house and hubs moms house. we think they actually BUY old food from the store. bc we swear we get it all and then the next time we are there - there is more!! ugh!

misguidedmommy said...

okay chocolate and cookies and pastries never expire, however i think it would just be smarter to hurry up and eat them before the expiration date just incase you know.

um, canned stuff sometimes. bread yes. i dunno i'm weird and ocd so there isn't much that i won't trash after it expires.

the pics below of the kids are way way way to cute. wow, like really cute, the ones of them together are my faves

Chris said...

That's really interesting! Thanks for sharing that information. I usually use things slightly past their expiration date, but will probably open up the "window" after reading this!

Rachel said...

I am fine with expired with some stuff-my mother in law and hubby get freaked out but I don't. Go for it!!