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The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow

Milk And Eggs

  • Eggs can last up to 30 days more than the 30 days stamp on most of the cartons, and give off a distinctive rotten smell to warn you in case they turn bad.
  • Milk is trickier, but the ‘UHT’ labeled one lasts longer.

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The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow

The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow

https://www.nytimes.com/article/expiration-dates-coronavirus.html

nytimes.com

9

Key Ideas

The Expiration Date

The Lockdown has forced us to keep our Supermarket trips to a minimum, and finally check what’s been lying in our fridge/pantry for months, or even years.

Most of the stuff we have would expire soon, we would assume. But the truth is a bit more complicated. Expiration dates aren’t set in stone and are in fact the manufacturer’s calculated ‘guess’ as to when its product will not be of optimal quality. The good news is some of the expired stuff you may have with you is still edible.

Vinegar, Honey And Oats

  • Vinegar, honey, vanilla and many other extracts, along with sugar, salt, corn syrup and molasses will last years after they are showing expired on the package.
  • Oats: Rolled and steel-cut oats will last for a year, while par-cooked (instant) ones can last even more than that.

Flour And Nuts

  • White Flour lasts quite long but whole-wheat and whole-grain flour start going bad after a few months. Anything refined and ‘white’ lasts longer than anything unpolished and brown. This is due to the presence of fats in anything which is unrefined.
  • Tree nuts can go bad in a few months if not stored in a freezer.

Bread

Processed bread (with preservatives and oils) stays soft and fresh for a week, but real bread made in a real bakery will be stale in one or two days. It’s a good idea to keep your bread in the freezer.

Beans And Spices

  • Dried beans and lentils can last for years but can be tough to cook if they are kept too long, especially with acidic ingredients like molasses or tomatoes.
  • Spices don’t go stale, and at most lose some of their flavor and potency while still being edible.

Canned Food And Soda

Food packed in aluminum cans, if not punctured or spoiled externally, can be edible after their expiration dates in case of fruits, veggies, or meats, though you have to be cautious and check for moldiness, bad odors or cloudiness. Food packed in metal lasts longer than what is packed in a glass jar, while plastic-packed food spoils the fastest.

Soda cans stay fizzy for years, glass ones for a year, while plastic soda bottles lose their fizz in a few months.

Oils And Ketchup

  • Oils remain usable for years, but one has to check for fishy, soapy or metallic smells. Touching a spoiled oil feels tacky, too.
  • Salad dressings last for months in a fridge, while mayonnaise and mustards can last even longer.
  • Ketchup can change color but still be usable for about a year. Pickles kept in their oil preservation last long even without refrigeration, while soy sauce is also usable for a good period of time.

Milk And Eggs

  • Eggs can last up to 30 days more than the 30 days stamp on most of the cartons, and give off a distinctive rotten smell to warn you in case they turn bad.
  • Milk is trickier, but the ‘UHT’ labeled one lasts longer.

Baby Food

Baby food, due to its sensitivity, carries a federally mandated use-by date. You may not feed it to babies after the expiration date, but you still can eat it yourself for some nutritional benefit, if needed.

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Plan ahead

Before you shop for the self-isolation period:

  • Consider the foods your family likes, your food preparation methods and the time and energy you will have for preparing meals.

While at the supermarket

... during the pandemic:

  • Use disinfecting wipes for your hands and grocery cart handle, and then make sure you put the wipe in the trash.
  • Supermarkets are running low on many items. Be ready with a back-up plan if an ingredient you need is unavailable.
  • Use contactless payment or credit cards. If you have to use the payment keypad, tap the buttons and screen with your knuckle then use hand sanitizer after completing your payment.
  • Contribute to local pantries and soup kitchens, to help the less fortunate.

Eating together at home

Make meals at home a positive and fun experience:

  • Get the whole family involved. Kids can help set the table or pour the water, make the salad.
  • Try some new easy recipes, that require a few ingredients.
  • Reconnect with the family: eat together at the table or spread a blanket on the floor and have an indoor picnic.

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Best foods don’t have labels

Best foods don’t have labels
Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables

The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet

The basic concept of the paleo diet is to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.

Studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss and major improveme...

A general guideline

There is no one "right" way to eat for everyone.

Some eat a low-carb diet high in animal foods, while others follow a high-carb diet with lots of plants.

Avoid these foods and ingredients:

  • Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • All Grains.
  • Legumes like beans and lentils.
  • Most Dairy, especially low-fat dairy.
  • Some vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, grapeseed, safflower and other oils.
  • Trans fats: "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. 
  • Highly processed foods: Everything labeled "diet" or "low-fat" or that has many additives.

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