Kristen – dinner #4

June 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm 1 comment

What’s for dinner tonight? I thought I would come home and make spaghetti and meat sauce – but then I read the blog and saw Julie’s entry and thought that the spaghetti sauce that I made last night could be substituted into her recipe (since I did want to eat some protein, but I didn’t want to eat hot dogs). It turned out really great – good idea thanks Julie! The spaghetti sauce that I had made turned out really great and I’ll look forward to eating it with spaghetti tomorrow.

I also broke into the bag of chocolate macaroons that I had been given in my hamper – I do really enjoy a chocolate macaroon and these were still fresh . . . even though the sticker on the bag says best before May 31. In taking a line from Julie it is interesting, the psychological effect that a little sticker on a product can have. . . I saw the sticker, thought May 31 – that’s a few days ago already . . . maybe I shouldn’t eat these. . . but I do enjoy a chocolate macaroon so maybe I should at least try one before writing them off and ultimately it turned out ok. Often I will find myself considering the best before date on my food – especially if it happens to be a milk product, or looking at a bag of produce that has started to go a little wilty or slimy and generally my answer is that if it’s a couple days past or if the vegetable looks even slightly wilty out it will go. It’s probably not the best way to go about things and each time it happens I do feel quite guilty that I didn’t incorporate said item into some kind of meal, but I think it also has something to do with these little best before stickers that make me feel like I shouldn’t even bother to check the item first.

Of course it makes sense as to why the best before labels are there, we live in a society where there is always a question of liability. But maybe this experience will teach me to at least try something out even if it reads best before, it could be just fine and if not then surely my sense of smell and a small taste will tell me instantly without me having to experience any serious outcome. Especially in the case of vegetables if I take the time to cut off or sort through the parts that I think may not be great to eat then there probably would still be parts that would be just fine – especially in a soup or stew or chili or some sort of thing. It might take more time to do this . . . and really I should probably use my food before it starts to turn . . . but I also know that occasionally time will not be on my side – so next time my veggies look a little wilty or my yogurt is a couple days past I will endeavour to test it before just tossing it.

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Entry filed under: Calgary Food Bank.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cyn  |  June 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Just wanted to comment here about the best before dates. I’m currently taking my training to be a Community Food Advisor and as part of it we are learning about food safety. We had a food safety inspector come in as a guest speaker and she emphasized that many food borne illnesses show no visible signs of their presence – there will be no changes in smell, nothing that you can see, and even the taste won’t be off but yet you can still get a potentially dangerous illness from the food. My dad worked in food research and yes, he said that they often put dates that were slightly earlier than the true “expiration” date to avoid any possible issues with people eating bad food. Also, in some cases, it’s not that the food is “bad” when it hits the best before date – it’s still safe but just no longer at its prime (perhaps doesn’t taste quite as fresh, might be stale, may have lost some of its nutrients etc). But, with high risk foods (those more prone to food borne illnesses in them), it’s wise to keep all of this in mind and it may be better to be safe than sorry.

    Reply

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