Food Labels and Expiration Dates - Day 23

Frugal Foods
(Those Expiration Dates Aren't Magical)

Breakfast  - Quesadillas and Mixed Fruit

Breakfast - Quesadillas and Mixed Fruit

Food labels and expiration dates sometimes just confuse things. Sure, they offer some guidelines. But, sometimes they just confuse things. Use By. Sell By. Best By. Expires. A great deal of perfectly safe food gets tossed because people don't understand what those dates mean. We eat a lot of food that has officially expired.

Breakfast: Quesadillas, with refried black beans, eggs, and cheddar cheese, served with mixed fruit. You'll notice the mixed fruit today has cherries added to it. These are canned, tart cherries, bought on sale in a slightly dented can.

Surprise! The cherries in the mixed fruit aren't leftover. I planned to have cherries for lunch. I took out some to add to the mixed fruit for breakfast, leaving enough left for lunch.

The liquid from the cherries, went into the bottle of mixed fruit juice in the fridge. On the label, it is called grapefruit and tangerine, 100% juice. But, as with a lot of those 100% juices, most of the juice is apple, pear, or grape. Ours now has an extra addition. I forgot to read the label on the cherry can, so I'm not sure if it was juice, very light syrup, or how they labeled it.

Lunch: Salmon salad sandwich, cottage cheese, olives, cherries, and milk. We are in Alaska, so this was home-canned, wild-caught, Alaskan salmon.

The cottage cheese has been in the refrigerator since before we started this no grocery shopping challenge. It was expired. But it was fine. As long as it is not opened, it seems cottage cheese keeps for a very long time. I'm not telling you that it is okay to eat expired foods. But, I'm telling you that we do, and it isn't a problem. I read the other day -- I wish I had noted the source of the information and written down the exact figures -- about how much perfectly safe to eat, high quality food is wasted in the United States because of expiration days. Some people, it seems, believe that the date on the can or container is magical, and that the food goes bad on that particular day. We believe those dates are somewhat arbitrary, and do not indicate when the food goes bad.

Snacks: Donuts and coffee, and mixed fruit juice.

Let's see what we can come up with tomorrow, for Day 24 of the no grocery shopping challenge.


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