This date is the manufacturer’s suggestion to the consumer of how long the product will be at peak quality. Related: How the Early Pioneers Preserved Food and What They Ate. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. However, the majority of AMERICAN’S have no real idea what hunger feels like, yet, how to appreciate what they have, eat responsibly, much less know how to cook from scratch. Remember the first MREs? I have only had a can or two of tomatoes, one can of evaporated milk, and one jar of mushroom gravy go bad in a 4-6 yr span after the dates. Last week wife and I ate cream of mushroom soup that had an expiration date of August 2015. If you want to live by a date on a can the United States Department of Agriculture says that high-acid canned goods should be good (and this is quality, not safety) for 18 months and everything else has a shelf life of 5 years. It’s easy to let food build up in the fridge and then throw it out when it goes past its ‘sell-by’ date. The Safest Zones In The US. Compost. Also crackers do not last, even in a plastic bag inside a plastic bucket. So, if faced with a can of food of unknown origins and age the higher the acid the safer the contents. I’d be more afraid of an unknown mushroom than a past date can. I agree. That is because nature has provided each and every one of us with the best arbiter of a food’s safety available – our reliable senses. Halve the avocado, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh. Otherwise, it just ends up in supermarket trash trucks, driving away with perfectly good, edible food. It the can spurts when opening, it gets tossed. Lol. You can also dig a trench, dump the food into the ground, and cover it up with dirt. Sell them to “Preppers” and survivalists for $.50 on the dollar all day long. Home canned goods were the usual course of acquiring botulism. That is why stores will throw out voluminous amounts of perfectly good food and sell products at deeply discounted prices when the ominous deadline looms. Related: How To Preserve Beef in Glass Jars. food that may go bad is like insurance that you hope not to use. Do not expect any food bank to take anything. The expiration dates are provided by manufacturers. Our throw-away culture accounts for millions of tonnes of edible waste. Ever wonder what happens to all of the fish bones and heads in the world? I’m still here! The first thing you should about expiration dates know is where they come from in the first place. You may want to double up on the plastic garbage bags to be certain the cans do not break out and break open on the way to their final resting place in a landfill. I see that we were in the army at the same time and ate the same stuff. They were made in 1956. We threw out very little in those years. I read a recent survey that said that, on average, families waste about £60 a month on food. Our cabinets are full. That’s why obesity is epidemic here. Food not used after the best by date is just wasted IMHO. Matter of fact, when they finally were hungry enough to eat it, I even made a little money selling it back to ’em, as my fee for humpin’ it for ’em!!! High-acid foods – tomatoes, citrus and other fruits – do not support food poisoning bacteria in any conditions and the offending germs will shortly die in such an environment. Well, most of you will have some potatoes in your fridge and a few onions or sad wilting spring onions lurking at the back. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. If a can is bulging or leaking it should be disposed of without consideration. 8 or so chicken under-fillets Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2tbsp chilli sauce A little vegetable or corn oil for deep frying 1 ripe avocado The juice of half a lemon A couple of good pinches of cayenne pepper The skins from 4 or so jacket potatoes, as explained in previous recipe 2-3tbsp thick sour cream 2 red chillies, thinly sliced 2 spring onions, cleaned and thinly sliced. Trust me IF they were truly hungry, they would eat it and I would be happy these programs exist. The food is almost certainly fine, especially if only a reasonable amount of time has passed from any dates arbitrarily imposed on the package. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? • Make, Mould, Dry, Warm slightly to remove, Slice into Rounds, Cure and Wash-up for dinner…. Me too, I grew up eating, for > a decade, abandoned C-rations scavenged from the bivouac of army troops on the airfield at a SAC base during the Cuban missile crisis – hence expiration dates bother me not.