Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
HKofsesshoumaru

Ignore Expiration dates?

13 posts in this topic

Ignore Expiration Dates"Best by," "Sell by," and all those other labels mean very little.

By Nadia ArumugamUpdated Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010, at 10:18 AM ET

100217_Food_expirationTN.jpgExpiration dates mean very littleThere's a filet mignon in my fridge that expired four days ago, but it seems OK to me. I take a hesitant whiff and detect no putrid odor of rotting flesh, no oozing, fetid cow juice—just the full-bodied aroma of well-aged meat. A feast for one; I retrieve my frying pan. This is not an isolated experiment or a sad symptom of my radical frugality. With a spirit of teenage rebellion, I disavow any regard for expiration dates.

The fact is that expiration dates mean very little. Food starts to deteriorate from the moment it's harvested, butchered, or processed, but the rate at which it spoils depends less on time than on the conditions under which it's stored. Moisture and warmth are especially detrimental. A package of ground meat, say, will stay fresher longer if placed near the coldest part of a refrigerator (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit), than next to the heat-emitting light bulb. Besides, as University of Minnesota food scientist Ted Labuza explained to me, expiration dates address quality—optimum freshness—rather than safety and are extremely conservative. To account for all manner of consumer, manufacturers imagine how the laziest people with the most undesirable kitchens might store and handle their food, then test their products based on these criteria.

With perishables like milk and meat, most responsible consumers (those who refrigerate their groceries as soon as they get home, for instance) have a three–to-seven-day grace period after the "Sell by" date has elapsed. As for pre-packaged greens, studies show that nutrient loss in vegetables is linked to a decline in appearance. When your broccoli florets yellow or your green beans shrivel, this signals a depletion of vitamins. But if they haven't lost their looks, ignore the printed date. Pasta and rice will taste fine for a year. Unopened packs of cookies are edible for months before the fat oxidizes and they turn rancid. Pancake and cake mixes have at least six months. Canned items are potentially the safest foods around and will keep five years or more if stored in a cold pantry. Labuza recalls a seven-year-old can of chicken chunks he ate recently. "It tasted just like chicken," he said.

Not only are expiration dates misleading, but there's no uniformity in their inaccuracy. Some manufacturers prefer the elusive "Best if used by," others opt for the imperative "Use by," and then there are those who litter their goods with the most unhelpful "Sell by" stamps. (I'm happy my bodega owner is clear on when to dump, but what about me?) Such disparities are a consequence of the fact that, with the exception of infant formula and some baby foods, package dates are unregulated by the federal government. And while some states do exercise oversight, there's no standardization. A handful of states, including Massachusetts and West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., require dating of some form for perishable foods. Twenty states insist on dating for milk products, but each has distinct regulations. Milk heading for consumers in Connecticut must bear a "Sell by" date not more than 12 days from the day of pasteurization. Dairies serving Pennsylvania must conform to 14 days.

That dates feature so prolifically is almost entirely due to industry practices voluntarily adopted by manufacturers and grocery stores. As America urbanized in the early 20th century, town and city dwellers resorted more and more to processed food. In the 1930s, the magazine Consumer Reports argued that Americans increasingly looked to expiration dates as an indication of freshness and quality. Supermarkets responded and in the 1970s some chains implemented their own dating systems. Despite the fact that in the '70s and '80s consumer groups and processors held hearings to establish a federally regulated system, nothing came of them.

These dates have no real legal meaning, either. Only last year, 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner reversed the conviction of a wily entrepreneur who'd relabeled 1.6 million bottles of Henri's salad dressing with a new "Best when purchased by" date. Posner decided that the prosecutor had unjustly condemned the dressing as rancid, rotten, and harmful, when in fact there was no evidence to suggest that the mature product posed a safety threat.

Expiration dates are intended to inspire confidence, but they only invest us with a false sense of security. The reality is that the onus lies with consumers to judge and maintain the freshness and edibility of their food—by checking for offensive slime, rank smells, and off colors. Perhaps, then, we should do away with dates altogether and have packages equipped with more instructive guidance on properly storing foods, and on detecting spoilage. Better yet, we should focus our efforts on what really matters to our health—not spoilage bacteria, which are fairly docile, but their malevolent counterparts: disease-causing pathogens like salmonella and Listeria, which infect the food we eat not because it's old but as a result of unsanitary conditions at factories or elsewhere along the supply chain. A new system that could somehow prevent the next E. coli outbreak would be far more useful to consumers than a fairly arbitrary set of labels that merely (try to) guarantee taste.

Sledgstone likes this

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

"Well, Toutousai...don't you think it's a pity for Tessaiga? All Inuyasha can do is wave about a sword with all his strength...it's the same whether it's a famous sword or a log."

-Sesshoumaru

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


As a grocery store manager, I can tell you that expiration dates are not indicators of when something goes bad. People have it set in their mind that at the stroke of midnight of the expiration date, the product instantly goes bad. These dates are when the store has to SELL the product by. People will dig in the back of the ice cream case to get the "freshest ice cream". Give me a fucking break, the shit has a 2 year shelf life on it.


dvabanner.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when in doubt smell that shit n see if its still good >.<


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

simple milk test, if you can drink it with out vomiting then it is ok


sigpic1620_11.gif

Bruce Campbell: '' This place has more security then the Batcave ''

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if its chunky its not milk anymore its cottage cheese :barf:


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if its chunky its not milk anymore its cottage cheese :barf:
I buy cottage cheese...

"Cool. I always knew Atheists would someday save The World."

- Fantomex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:barf:

I cant eat cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, or cheese curds

I worked on 3 different dairy farms as a kid......


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading that some bulk sellers like walmart have their meats packaged in carbon monoxide and thats why the plastic wrap covering the meat if puffy with air. It keeps the product fresher longer, but I think the downside was that after the expiration date you couldn't smell or see if the meat was bad until you started cooking it. Only after cooking it did it smell nasty and rancid. Weird huh? O_O


gallery_1_23_1357354444_252.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is pretty wired Sledge, my brother is one of those people to throw something out because of the expiration date, its annoying

I agree with Lady, you gotta smell that stuff


Sig2-1.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember reading that some bulk sellers like walmart have their meats packaged in carbon monoxide and thats why the plastic wrap covering the meat if puffy with air. It keeps the product fresher longer, but I think the downside was that after the expiration date you couldn't smell or see if the meat was bad until you started cooking it. Only after cooking it did it smell nasty and rancid. Weird huh? O_O

NEVER buy meat from wal-mart. Go to your local grocery chain.


dvabanner.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

do you have other chains almost or bigger then wal-mart

in the UK we have like 4 large chains and 3 smaller ones


sigpic1620_11.gif

Bruce Campbell: '' This place has more security then the Batcave ''

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theres other store chains that are quite big, Kroger, Wegmans, Giant Eagle, P&C, Tops, Win Dixie and others. Some are pretty good stores and most of them blow walmart's grocery store out of the water. Walmart does have good prices for boxed or canned goods, frozen foods and some low quality produce.

NEVER buy meat from wal-mart. Go to your local grocery chain.

:nod: The only meat I buy at walmart is their chicken wings (from petridge farm I think), other than that, their meat is over priced and crappy. Their beef stew chunks look like meat soup in a styrofoam box. eww. And the hamburger meat is always at least $1 more per pound and its in carbon monoxide. I'll pass. Nojaims, P&C & Wegmans meats are far superior.


gallery_1_23_1357354444_252.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the local grocers have their own butchers and the meats are locally raised n slaughtered; no factory farm shit. They also buy a lot of locally grown produce so if ya cant get to the farmers market (always local/fresh) you can still buy tomatoes that haven't been shipped around the country.

When I shop where the product came from is a big factor for me. If its brand name shit and my dollars are supporting a big company then that company needs to show me enviro/labor/moral responsibility or they no getting mys dollars. Ex: Scott is made by Kimberly Clark and I participated in the Kleer cut campaign so that my tp didn't come from ancient forest. It took years but KC caved in under the pressure and revamped their policies to be more enviro friendly in their harvesting of lumber.

Not much ya can do about processed foods, ie are they using GM corn or rice in their products, where did the soy in their products come from, how much energy goes into making that box of cereal and shipping it to the store etc.

I'm a label and tag checker. another ex of why: A few years ago I was looking for a shirt w the American flag on the front. I checked Walmart while I was there and all they had in ladies was Faded Glory t's that were made in Honduras. I'm not buying a shirt to show my patriotism that was made in a foreign country and shipped in because its cheaper for Faded Glory to produce their products under slave labor conditions outside of the US. That's not patriotic that's just fuckin retarded.


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0