When I see a date on food it is something that I think I can rely on for accuracy. Not necessarily. When you see a date on products like baby food and infant formula, that is something that is mandated by the government for safety reasons. For the rest of products it is really up to the manufacturer’s digression.
Samantha Cassidy of Good Housekeeping Magazine says those numbers printed on most foods can be misleading. She says that when it says sell by a date that means you have about 5 to 7 days when opening something fresh like milk. Eggs could say use by and then a date. She says you don’t actually have to use the dozen eggs by that date. Eggs will stay fresh if you keep them in the coldest part of your refrigerator in the carton for three to five weeks past the use by date. Well then what do I put in the egg section of the refrigerator?
The fact is that the food dating we have now is confusing at the least and may be misleading at the worst. So, we are back to relying on our senses and the Dad of the house has to always be the worrier there in front of the family pack to be the one elected to check the stuff out to see if it is still good. Yes, I am the one that has to see if it looks different. Does it taste different? Is the texture different? Then, if I still don’t know I end up throwing it out anyway.
Janet Kalish is a NYC high school teacher who got fed up with seeing supermarkets toss out good food. For the past 8 years she has been doing her shopping on the streets. She claims that 90% of the food she eats is as she calls it rescued, actually comes from someone’s trash. She finds plenty of fresh food tossed from bakeries, grocers and fruit and vegetable markets. Even in a down economy food is apparently plentiful and at times gets tossed simply because no one bought it earlier that day. She finds loaves of bread at times that is still hot fresh out of the oven.
At Loaves & Fishes a place that advertises that they are Ending Hunger in Our Community, is based in Naperville, Illinois. Their locations all over the country look just like regular supermarkets except 75% of everything in the store was destined for the dumpster. Now it is free for the needy. It is the richest county in Illinois but yet 1 out of 5 kids will go hungry sometime this year.
Ironically, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans threw out $282,000,000 million dollars worth of uneaten turkey into the trash this past Thanksgiving. We could be saving a lot of money on food if the people in the community would just get together with businesses and organize a system of sharing instead of trashing. How about our local elected officials do something useful and take on this issue.