Non-Consumer Mish-Mash — Expired Food, Modern Thrifters and Characters Named “Brian”

by Katy on April 16, 2011 · 7 comments

It’s time  again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

Expiration Dates

The Boston Globe recently ran article exploring the issues related to food expiration dates titled When Good Things Happen to Good Food. In the piece, author Beth Teitell wrote that:

“A study by and Harris Interactive concluded that more than three-quarters of US consumers mistakenly believe certain foods are unsafe to eat after the expiration date has passed. “The dates on food packages are very conservative,’’ Joe Regenstein, a professor of food science at Cornell University, and a member of the website’s scientific advisory board, said when the survey was released last year. “If the product was stored properly, it should last well beyond the date on the package.’’

However, the article does state statistics on food borne illness in the U.S. which I’m sure are vastly underreported. (I know I’ve never been to the doctor when I’ve been sickened by food, always from a restaurant.) Interesting stuff.

Either way, good information, and I’m happy to find out about Shelf Life, which was new to me.

Advice From Anne Lamott

My neighbor and I went to go hear a reading last night at the Bagdad Theater with author Anne Lamott. This event sold out, despite capacity of 600 people. (Yes, I looked it up!)

It was not a normal author reading, where there’s actual . . . reading, but more of a free form event where Lamott did a Q & A, and even asked almost all of her own questions! I’m not complaining, as it was quite interesting, (although somewhat odd.) She even doled out writing advice, my favorite of which was:

Never name a character Brian, as you will misspell it as Brain, and the spellcheck won’t pick it up.

Good to know in case I ever start to write fiction.

Logo Update

I am redoing the logo for The Non-Consumer Advocate. Trish from Modern Thrifter and the husband and wife graphics team of The Mahoney was kind enough to send over a few preliminary sketches, which ya’ll weighed in on. You’ll be happy to know that I am moving forward with the Mason jar design, which was the overwhelming favorite. The final product will be very different from the initial drawing, and I’m very excited to see it.

This blog is a month shy of three years old, and like a closet full of mom jeans, it’s just time to freshen it up a bit.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca April 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

A couple of months ago I had a friend drop off a dozen boxes of food she and her family had stored a few years ago for extreme emergencies. All of the food was way, WAY past use by date (like by 4 years) but the canned goods were totally fine. The cereals and items packed in plastic packaging were stale and rancid, but the canned tuna, chicken, soup, fruit and veggies still tasted great! I’m not to proud to admit we used up what could be salvaged.

Not that I will be letting items linger in my pantry or emergency stash for that long, but if a can is a few months past date, and is not leaking, bulging or dented, its good to know we can eat it up.


Hannelene April 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Love Anne Lamott – lucky you!


Katy April 18, 2011 at 5:57 am

She was certainly an interesting speaker!



alison April 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm

You’re always way fresher than mom jeans, Katy!


Katy April 18, 2011 at 5:57 am

Aww, shucks . . . .



fae April 18, 2011 at 3:47 am

I’d really like to see more of those expiration date articles mention, at least as an aside somewhere, that things like that year-old roast in the freezer are perfectly safe, provided it was frozen before it went bad in the first place. It kind of amazes me how many people don’t realize that foods in their frozen state aren’t going to go bad – they might loose texture or flavour qualities we like, sure, but spoilage isn’t a problem. Or, to quote the USDA page on food dating and storage: “Once a perishable product is frozen, it doesn’t matter if the date expires because foods kept frozen continuously are safe indefinitely.” Personal soapbox issue. 🙂

Also, really looking forward to the cute new logo!


Rebecca April 18, 2011 at 6:07 am

I know, my mom was just telling me how those chickens and turkey in my freezer were going bad. I’m thinking “I froze those babies whole, double wrapped 7 months ago, they have been as solid as bowling balls ever since. and we eat a roast chicken every other week or so and the last one we had was 7 months frozen and tasted great!”


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: