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1.05.2014

MIGHT I SUGGEST YOU NOT EAT THIS PAST MIDNIGHT ON THE SEVENTH DAY OR WHEN THERE IS A FULL MOON

There is a debate with our one son-in-law about expiration dates on food.  He and my mom probably stand closer to the same mind set than does anyone, barring the homeless or those left with no choices.  I would rather error on the side of not having ill digestive effects from crossing that somewhat subjective expiration date line.  Our son-in-law, much like a Vegas high roller, eats it anyway.  Always.

Unfortunately because of the boatload of preservatives, and the quantity of non real food ingredients in it, our food really does have far too long a shelf life.  Real food that our ancestors ate was in its original, unadulterated, unedited form; meat freshly killed, vegetables and fruits were eaten by the season of their availability, etc....  There wasn't yogurt, ice cream, even cereal or bread cut into slices and stored in a plastic bag.

Expiration dates on food are little like weather lines; somewhere the rain stops, the snow stops, the gray stops and another weather line starts.  I know that to be true even though I can't always see each one end and a new one start.  If that were not true, we would all be experiencing the severe cold and snow that is bombarding the country's mid to eastern section.

There is no doubt some research that goes into expiration dates on food - laboratory studies in petri dishes, lab rats, or with college students desperate for money.  It just seems that line is a bit obscure.

Take for instance what I noticed yesterday as I opened my refrigerator door. Written on the back of the half-gallon of Lactaid milk (that's milk with out the digestive enzyme lactose in it - my digestion can't handle dairy well at all) was this:


MAY BE SOLD UNTIL
MIDNIGHT OF DATE
INDICATED ON TOP

THIS MILK IS ULTRA-
PASTEURIZED TO LAST
LONGER UNOPENED.
ONCE OPENED, CONSUME
WITHIN SEVEN DAYS.

KEEP REFRIGERATED

I must say I laughed at the midnight time deadline.  Evidently not one minute more.  Seems a bit overstated.  Stores need to take notice of that time deadline of midnight and pull them off the shelf immediately. 

I was also a bit confused that if I didn't open the container, but merely kept it in my refrigerator, it was good until February 22nd.  But, if I chose to consume it I could only use it for 7 days.  Oxygen quickly decreases the ultra-pasteurization.  Oxygen keeps us alive but also carries bacteria.  Conundrum indeed.

My bag of wild rice says, refrigeration suggested after opening for longer shelf life.  I want to know how much longer exactly.  I had the rice for 6 months on a cupboard shelf.  I looked for an expiration date printed on the package - there was none.  I smelled it [as though I am really going to know what old rice might smell like - card-boardish??]  It was just my sensory due diligence, quasi lab testing, for determining whether a food item was past its life span.  I cooked it.  Still alive I am.

My mom has been known to have quite a few expired condiments in her frig.  I always check the date on the mayo at her house before using it.  I likewise always ask, if I am eating a leftover that I found in her frig before I got there, when she made it [day of week].  If it is past the 3-4 day mark, Nancy out!

I like the word suggested more than I like sold until midnight.  It gives me some lee-way, a choice, a gamble in whether or not I want to take the expiration date dice roll.  I know my son-in-law Brandon always does. 

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