Monday, October 13, 2008

yet another reason to grow all my own food

If there is one thing that really drives me mad, it's on that very rare occasion when I purchase some kind of food item without first checking the expiration date, only to bring that item home and discover that it had expired.

Food safety is very important to me.

I exercise extreme caution to thoroughly wash all of our fruits and vegetables, keep a clean food preparation area, promptly refrigerate leftovers, and clean out our refrigerator at least once every two weeks. Without exception, my mantra is, "When in doubt, throw it out!!"

It irks me to no end when I open a new bag of produce only to see that it has started to go bad. Or when a new loaf of bread sprouts mold spores after less than two days in our cupboards.

Last week, on the one day that I went out shopping, I purchased a 1/2 gallon of Naked All Natural Superfood. I only slightly balked at the $9.00 price tag for a 1/2 gallon of juice because I felt like my body needed green juice.

Yesterday, when I was out shopping at Target, I picked up a 1/2 gallon of orange juice. And why on earth I didn't check the expiration on either of these 1/2 gallons of juices before purchase - to this very moment eludes me because I am an expiration date checking QUEEN.

I'm always climbing reaching in the far back of the refrigerator section - or bread racks - to pull out the absolute freshest selection available.

So today?!

I pull out my Superfood green juice, and noticing that I still have 1/2 of a 1/2 gallon container remaining ... and remembering that we'll be gone for the next four days ... I decide that I need to drink ALL of this juice today. And then, I catch a quick glance at the expiration date and my mind reels for a moment when I see September 26, 2008.


Aren't we in OCTOBER?

I then look at the orange juice that I bought YESTERDAY and my mind reels more when I see that the expiration date is October 1, 2008. I look at the calendar, call my husband to confirm that I'm not caught in a time warp, and I fury hard.

Even though I bought these products at two different stores, and even though I have a laundry list of items to do before we head out of town for the next four days, I will be going back to both of the stores today ... with four small children in tow ... and tell them that although there is a responsibility on the consumer to check expiration dates and make an informed purchase, it is the ULTIMATE responsibility of the proprietor to insure that the food products that they have on their shelves are fresh and within date.

They certainly should not have food for sale that expired several weeks prior.

Then, once I'm really fired up, I plan to go by Trader Joe's on the way home and inquire why no one ever got back to me regarding the bug in my organic garbanzo beans.

Of course I don't have any of the receipts. But I'm hoping that the managers will figure anyone who comes in to their store with old juice and four small children is legitimate and not just looking for something to do.

Because there's always laundry.


  1. AMEN. Sing it loud.

  2. Wow -- I'm going to totally ruin your day, but a bug in a can of organic beans is really the least of your worries.

    The FDA allows all kinds of crap in our food.

    In fact, the average person eats one to two pounds of insects each year, and without knowing it.

    The allowable amount of rat hair and fecal matter in peanut butter is .1%.

    3% of all ocean pearch fillets contain at least one parasite in a pus pocket.

    Every 8 ounces of orange juice can contain either one maggot or five fly eggs.

    One chocolate bar can contain up to 80 bug pieces and other debris.

  3. Anon - I know. But it bugs me (pardon the pun) when food is left on shelves past a due date, because it is something that CAN be controlled.

  4. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Once, I opened a "frozen" pizza, just to find the top of it completely green. With mold.

    Ugh. I had the heebie jeebies for a long time after that.

  5. OMG, I just read Anon's comment and threw up.

    I just cleaned worms out of my cupbpard from organic rice that was WORMY, so if you can swing by here and pick up the remains and take them over to Sunflower Market, I would BE SO HAPPY! :)

    I think you need the green juice too. I get a flat of wheatgrass to juice for $5.99. No expiration!

  6. I hear you completely. I was shopping on Saturday and picked up some cheese that had an early AUGUST expiration date on it! And this was at the fancy market too, where everything is merchandised so nicely and they charge you out the nose for it. Luckily I saw it before it came home with me, but who has time to go back if you miss it? The worst was the pork loin I bought that was NOT expired according to the date on the package, but once opened it stunk so badly I refused to cook it. Infuritating!

  7. Expired and moldy food is one of my biggest frustrations too. I have shopped at our newly-opened, locally-owned market a few times and have come home with expired dairy products. Several times the produce molded within one or two days.

    The worst part, like in your case, is that the organic groceries from our locally-owned market are really expensive!!! Good for you for going back.

  8. Whoah, I just read those your description of FDA allowances, Anon. That will surely cure my chocolate addiction. Gross.

  9. One of the reasons I love making my own fresh green juice is because it's truly fresh. But, I have to be on top of getting FRESH produce for it, so I can related.

    I'm also a stickler for getting the freshest in the selection. I'll even ask the produce manager for something from the back where the fresher stuff is :)


  10. If you would like some hints on growing wheat grass, I am the one to help you. I think you might be better off having the kids eat the raw fruit than the juice. They love fruit so perhaps they will love the orange and grapefruit segments.

  11. Happy Birthday, W, E, & C!!!
    Love, Shayna

  12. Not to long ago I bought some baby food for my 11 month old triplets. When I took the top off I thought it looked funny. So I turned the container around and the expiration date read APRIL 2007. Yeah, I was feeding my little kids food from over a year ago. I was instantly mad...I ran over to the cabinet full of baby food and started my search. Seven out of the 12 containers I bought were from April of 07. I can not believe that a place could be that complacent. I just wanted to say also that I love your gives me hope that I can make it with my triplets. Mine are just turning one so reading your blog opens my eyes of things to come.