The Good & The Bad

17 Oct

Sometimes I feel like I can be thoughtless leading to wasteful with food, I will buy things and not be as mindful as I should be of expiration dates to be sure I use them before it’s too late.
This week I decided to just buy the non-food items I needed like paper towels, tooth paste, etc and to cook out of only the items in my pantry and refrigerator. This is definitely not my normal routine, but I was able find a couple things to make like homemade spaghetti sauce with pasta and meatballs (I had dry pasta, canned tomatoes, an onion, a jar of crushed garlic, peppers, dried herbs, and frozen turkey meatballs). I made my Spicy Cowboy Taco Bowls as well out of only things I always have on hand, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup which I added alphabet pasta to. This was a challenge for me because I’m so used to going out and spending a good amount of money on groceries, making midweek trips to get items that I just thought of, and it also got me to avoid defaulting to take out when days get a little too rough.

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Food safety is super important to me, I am always trying to make sure that I am not cross contaminating anything and being sure to clean my kitchen thoroughly to avoid bacteria infecting the things we eat or touch. I regularly check out pins on pinterest or articles on yahoo about food safety to make sure that I am keeping my family safe. I was reminded by my coworker, Jenn that to check expiration dates on not only my fresh foods and drinks but also my pantry items, like canned foods, boxed foods, and mixes. This my sound dumb but I didn’t realize that canned goods really went bad because well, they were canned and therefore shelf stable. Tomorrow is trash day for me so I thought it would be a good time check on the expiration’s that I had in my house. Besides some apple jalapeño sausages, deli sliced havarti (which somehow froze in my fridge’s meat bin), and some lemons which had gone bad I was completely surprised at how many items had surpassed their time. I realized that when I’m menu planning I rarely look at expiration dates, I just see them in my fridge assuming they are fine. Also that I definitely have used ingredients in the past 6 months like my ketchup which expired mid 2012.

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My most expired item? A can of soup that expired in August 2010. Oy. I made sure to rinse and recycle all items I could. I think the biggest realization I had was that I have been using a lot of expired condiments without knowing it. I am now going to make a point to go through my fridge and pantry regularly to be sure that all my food items are safe for consumption and I’m not putting my family at risk by cooking with them. I’m not going to lie, my fridge is pretty empty now and I need to restock a lot of things, off to the market I go!

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One Response to “The Good & The Bad”

  1. Lorene Sexton October 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Good message…lots of food shopping gets done on Saturday so your timing was perfect!

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