Friday, 13 June 2008

Sell-by dates

I'm currently watching this on ITV1. When I say "watching" I'm using the term extremely loosely - when the presenter (the slightly scary Jonathan Maitland) unwrapped some chicken fillets that were six days past their sell by date and announced his intention to cook and eat them, his wife did what any sensible person would do and squealed loudly and refused him access to any of her saucepans.
I'm not saying that I throw food out the minute it's hit the sell by date because I don't. I've toasted bread that's days old, I've gingerly eaten a yoghurt that was a week past its date and my muffin and custard bake puts in an appearance if the out of date muffins and the mood to comfort eat synchronise effortlessly. I've eaten black bananas, nectarines and strawberries that have fizzed on my tongue, I've livened up limp celery and soft tomatoes by frightening them stiff and firm respectively with a bowl of iced water and I've cut the mouldy bits off a slice of bread and eaten the remains slathered in butter. Brought up in a house where the phrase "don't waste it!" was repeated on a daily basis, I don't.

The only thing I'm wary about is meat that tastes "cheesy". That is immediately binned amid much face pulling. This is down to the story that my mum used to tell about some mince that my Gran had cooked for the family on a Wednesday, reheated on the Thursday, put in the fridge only to be reheated and eaten on the Friday night. My gran brought up three children on little money and nothing was wasted. My mum used to recall (in graphic detail) the way her stomach churned as she, Ivy and Daisy forced down this mince because to refuse it was to incur their mothers wrath. An hour later Daisy was lying in a pool of sweat and mum and Ivy fighting over who was going to stick their head down the toilet first.

What makes this whole thing worse was the following week mum refused point blank to eat some pork sausages because they tasted "funny". Gran, Grandad, Ivy and Daisy found nothing wrong with them and told her to eat them. They weren't "right" and made mum so ill that she couldn't eat any form of pork for ten years. She used to tell me that one whiff of a pork sausage roll at a party used to send her screaming from the room - her teenage years were full of angst! And parties with pork sausage rolls.

Actually, I think I've got some muffins and a tin of custard in the cupboard ........


Anonymous said...

I think it is very interesting how much food does get wasted. I read somewhere (and I can't remember where now) about how many tonnes of food McDonalds throws out every day.

Then tonight at London Bridge train station on my way home from work I stopped to buy a *naughty* snack (you know something that I shouldn't even be buying on my new healthy diet/living plan) -- but, hey I was genuinely hungry.

Anyway the assistant at "Upper Crust" (and what a posh name for an outlet selling cheap convenience crap!) told me that she was unable to sell me the high calorie re-heated slice of pizza that I wanted as it was more than 3 hours old.

Turns out they all have a little label on (looks like a price label but actually it is the time it was cooked) and they have to get chucked out after 3 hours.

So my naughty "let's snack at London Bridge on the way home" plan was FOILED by their desire to waste perfectly good food because it was 10 minutes past the 3 hour rule !!!

Merry said...

What, they didn't have any more pizza besides the old stuff?

This post reminds me of the old saying:

Red meat isn't bad for you.
Fuzzy blue-green meat, now
that's bad for you.

rosiero said...

I just use my nose. If it smells funny, I put it in the bin. If it smells OK, I cook it and eat it. So far, I have not had any upset stomachs, but now I've gone and said it,......!!!!

Millennium Housewife said...

Are you watching Big Brother? How did the poll go? Fill me in please! MH

aims said...

The Man throws out anything when it hits the due date. Food, salad dressing, oil, pills - you name it! He's a stickler. Me? Not so much really. But I'm still here.

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I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.