Ready or Not #210: Eat Your Food and Stop Throwing It Away

Too much food is being thrown away unnecessarily – and I’m not talking about the school cafeteria.  I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to that have thrown canned soups and canned food products away because the “use-by” date has expired.  Just because the printed date on the can has expired it doesn’t always mean that the contents inside has.

If a can has been processed correctly and it isn’t bulging or hasn’t been compromised by being exposed to air, then the contents are going to be edible.  So stop throwing cans away just because the calendar says to – and this is not just my opinion.

I have finally found a responsible, knowledgeable website that addresses this very issue.  Actually it addresses all types of food issues that you might have questions about – fresh, frozen, canned, bottled, dried, or whatever else you can do to food.  They encourage you to ask questions – they want YOU to know what is safe.

One of their articles, titled “Expired Food – Is It on Your Grocer’s Shelves?” By Ethel Tiersky, wrote:

“In general, “use-by” and “sell-by” dates are about quality (taste, texture, appearance, scent, etc.) rather than safety.  They mean that after that date the food may no longer be at its best.  (That’s not so scary, is it?)  Many shelf-stable products are not only safe but of high quality long after the “use-by” date.”

Did you read that?  “Many shelf-stable products are not only safe but of high quality long after the “use-by” date.”  That makes sense to me.

The website that I am talking about is ShelfLifeAdvice.com.  The people who write and give advice for this website are very well educated individuals and very specialized in their fields.  Basically, they are the last word on the subject of food and food safety.

I read several of their articles and there was one that I especially enjoyed that talked about the benefits of eating high-quality chocolate.  You don’t have to tell me twice!  There were a lot of interesting, well written articles that were very informative.  Another article, “Food Fraud: Are you paying for scallops and getting shark meat?” was very interesting.  Think that you are eating wild salmon?  You paid the higher price, but you may not have received the healthier cut of fish.  I think that you will find the information on this website very valuable.

I don’t quote scripture in my articles very often, but it seems appropriate in this case because that article reminded me of one of my favorite verses in the Doctrine and Covenants: Section 89 – The Word of Wisdom.  Verse four states, “…In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation-“.  It seems that the Word of Wisdom is talking more than about abstaining from alcohol, coffee, tea and tobacco.  It also warns us to question the intent behind the “evils and designs…of conspiring men…”

After figuring out how much food you need to store for your family’s year supply (by using our food storage worksheets), you will now also know how to store it correctly and have access to the information for how long it can be stored safely.  Remember, it is still vital to rotate your food and keep it fresh and updated as much as possible, but there is no reason to throw it out when it isn’t necessary.  Food storage is meant to save you money, not drain your resources.

Waste not, want not.

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