Best if Used By: ??/??/??

Today at lunch, we were “scrounging” as we call it. (Now, if you look up the word ‘Scrounging’ on, there’s a very different definition than ours – Scrounging: “The act of being creative with a limited selection of food.”) Sometimes you can really get lucky with the food (especially at lunch), but in this case, Morgan found a jar of almond butter, which looked unappetizing to say the least. She asked “Do you think this has gone bad?” or something, to which I responded, “Probably has. Did you check the expiration date?” She checked the jar and said “Oh… April.” She put it down. We all stared at it for a few moments of silence. Morgan looked a bit concerned for a second and then snapped back to reality. “It looks okay to me,” she said confidently. “April of 09?” I asked. “That means we probably got it around 1 or 2 years ago.” (Thinking to myself, “You’re gonna die.” which I would never say out loud… Morgan can take these things too seriously.)  😉

So the question at hand is: Expiration dates… should we trust them?

My immediate answer to this was, “I think it’s all a ploy. To get you to eat it by the date they put, and then of course have to buy more!” After a while, this sounded plausible; in my mind, there are three different groups of people with regard to “expiration dates”.

  • The people who buy things after looking at the “Must be sold by” date, and then eat it before the “Best before” date. Who clean out their refrigerator every other week looking at all the expiration dates!
  • The people who order their groceries online and can’t see the expiration dates.
  • The people who don’t care. Does it really matter if it’s a few days (or years!) after the date on the jar?!

In my opinion, I put our family in the second category. Right in between. We really don’t care, but with something refrigerated or perishable, we’d probably be more careful.

Anyway, is it all a scam? Are the grocery stores plotting together to take our money!? It’s possible… not likely, but it’s possible. 😉

So to conclude, the family currently residing at The Residence will continue with life the way we always have, being just a little less than oblivious to the infamous expiration dates. And of course, those of you who have taken the time to read through this will most likely continue the way you always have, until one day someone will take out an old jar of peanut butter or something, and just as they’re about to take a bite, they’ll look down, and something will vaguely hit them… and they’ll check the label, and realize that it’s 2 or 3 years old! Who knew peanut butter didn’t mold? And is it true that a sandwich from McDonalds will look exactly the same 5 years later? Eww. Preservatives are so gross.

Anyway, next time you’re eating almond butter, remember this post. 😉


3 thoughts on “Best if Used By: ??/??/??

  1. I think they always put the dates early JUST to be safe. If they stuck them right on the date it should expire then they’d sometimes have things expiring early and they’d get in trouble for it. I think they give us more than enough room to go past those dates for a while 🙂

  2. I say that if you can pull the Marzetti’s Dill Dip out of the container and bounce it on the floor a few times, it’s probably a little late.

    If the tomato paste is black and white instead of red, you’ve missed the expiration date.

    If the jelly is covered in what looks like green fuzz, dump it.

    If there’s a black or blue mark on the bread, don’t eat it.

    But if none of those fit the situation, you’re usually fine 😀

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