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View Poll Results: How do you deal with food in your fridge past its best before date?
I always check dates and throw away anything that's on or past the date. 2 1.38%
I check dates and make sure to use everything within the date. 10 6.90%
I keep an eye on dates and use nose, eyes and brain to determine what's still good to eat 100 68.97%
I only buy enough food to last a couple of days, so this never happens. 12 8.28%
I just eat stuff without really looking at the dates. 13 8.97%
What's a best before date? 4 2.76%
What's a fridge? 4 2.76%
Voters: 145. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 26.08.2016, 11:30
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Poll: throwing food away.

Been watching a BBC tv program recently, "how to eat well for less" and was surprised by (amongst other things) how many people throw away perfectly good food just because it's reached its best before date. Set me wondering if this is more common than I thought, so am interested in what EF people do.

Last edited by Ace1; 08.10.2018 at 16:46. Reason: typos
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:36
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

I let my eyes, nose and tastebuds tell me when something is no longer edible, I hardly ever look at sell by dates.

Same with medicines
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:46
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

I don't pay any attention to best before dates. I use my eyes and nose. I buy a lot of %off fresh things, generally eat them soonish, but meat I will sometimes put in the freezer.

When I want a special meal I make a point of getting freshest and best materials, but for every day meals I don't bother.

I suppose I could go to the local butcher and get locally cured bacon, the farmer for locally grown lettuce, make my own Mayo, and bake my own bread... but then it wouldn't be a proper bacon sandwich.

I don't throw much out. As I live alone, lettuce and fresh bread are my problem.
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:47
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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I let my eyes, nose and tastebuds tell me when something is no longer edible, I hardly ever look at sell by dates.
Same here, but I do look at the sell by dates, and rotate food on the fridge shelves accordingly. I know that's a bit geeky.

Ate a yoghurt last night that had a use by date of 20 Aug and it was perfectly fine, but it is yoghurt after all!

The one thing I won't ever risk is a meat or fish pack that has swollen up. That goes straight in the bin without opening it because I don't want to release that bacteria into my kitchen.
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:49
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

I don't throw anything away and don't pay much attention to best before dates. If it looks ok and smells ok then I'll eat it.
My husband is the other extreme and would chuck stuff away the second it reached the best before or use by date if I didn't hide it from him before he could get to it.

Having worked in labs doing tests to determine use by, sell by or best before dates I know how big a margin there is.
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:50
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

Use of nose and eyes. And also having a "kliekjesdag" (left over day) where anything is eaten that was leftover from dinners that week. Sounds probably bad, but we used to have fights over who got what :-)




I cook a lot in advance, freeze it in portions and anything left over most of the time gets eaten the next day or so
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:52
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

Did cathharmony hack Ace1's account?
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:54
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

When I do a big shop (once every couple weeks) I look at sell-by dates when I'm putting the groceries away. Anything with a sell-by date in the next 3-4 days goes onto a particular shelf in the fridge, where I can keep an eye on it and make sure it gets used up soonish.

Other than that I don't pay much attention to dates, unless I have a head cold and can't smell anything... then I stick to them religiously.
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:57
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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Been watching a BBC tv program recently, "how to eat well for less" and was surprised by (amongst other things) how many people throw away perfectly good food just because it's reached its best before days. Set me wondering if this is more common than I though, so am interested in what EF people do.
The amount of food waste in modern society (not just in households but in supermarkets too) is actually horrendous, bordering on criminal when you consider how many people could benefit from it. The throwing away of fruit and beg because it's not the right size and shape literally makes my mind boggle.
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Old 26.08.2016, 11:59
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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Did cathharmony hack Ace1's account?
Don't be silly, there's no dog option.
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:00
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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Don't be silly, there's no dog option.
giving it to the dog is actually a valid option
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:01
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

HI,
I think I make the better choice:
I only buy enough food to last a couple of days, so this never happens.
Actually, with the price of the food here, I just go to some migros or coop every two days and buy what I need for the next days and I eat everything before go there again

For some goods, like milk or so, I just buy waht I need for let's say one month so that is cool!
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:03
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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The amount of food waste in modern society (not just in households but in supermarkets too) is actually horrendous, bordering on criminal when you consider how many people could benefit from it.
It is quite sickening actually.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8xwLWb0lLY

I can't stand US portions anymore (when I go back). And the above video doesn't even address that part of the problem.

Something I learned: Almost no regulation exists around "Sell By" labels within the US - which means it is at the discretion of the food manufacturer/producer. They are incentivized to have you rotate your stock as often as possible.


Does anyone know if CH labels are regulated?

Last edited by VFR on top; 26.08.2016 at 12:22. Reason: bringing it back to CH
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:08
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

I hardly throw anything out; just the occasional part-eaten loaf of bread which I don't finish fast enough, however here even those seem to just go hard rather than mouldy, so I can toast/grill it and save it that way. However, I recently bought a 2kg punnet of apricots for €1 in France, and hence had to keep them in the fridge as they were lasting so long. They became tasteless (to be fair they didn't start out much better) so a few of those were thrown once I got bored with them.

I buy loads of stuff 50% off in Coop. Sell-by dates don't bother me and use-by dates don't usually although I do tend to pay more attention to the appearance and smell of food that I'm using past that date. Things like yoghurts I've eaten months past the use-by date and obviously they're fine. Eggs can be kept almost indefinitely if you rotate the carton every few days. I'm also someone who will remove mould from things like cheese and jam, despite the scare stories that the mould spores have already penetrated through all the food and it should be binned. I've survived so far with my routine, and don't get stomach issues, so my body copes with whatever I'm doing.

Things kept in the freezer deteriorate. They don't become unhealthy but the taste dissipates and the fibres break down, so I tend to use those meats in curries/stir-fries etc. Fish (which I eat regularly) is eaten as fresh as possible.

I tend to buy random 50% off things in Coop, and also shop regularly in France and Germany buying whatever looks interesting and tasty. I then invent recipes to use up what I can. I have a large collection of spices, vinegars, sauces and condiments from my regular trips to Taiwan and I've found almost anything tastes good when stir-fried with some of those.
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:21
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

We just keep an eye on the dates, and take a pragmatic view. We also don't generally throw away uneaten (cooked) food - some days we live entirely on left-overs.

I was shocked to find out how much of perfectly edible leek gets chopped off before it gets as far as the supermarket - and then when people get it home, they chop even more off!
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:23
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

When possible, I try brave experiments before things go bad.

The other night, I whipped up some quark that was about to expire with some lime juice, herbs, and a little seasoning. I found it worked great with fish or for dipping. So you can learn something with experiments.

One thing I would not do is to make myself eat something just because it is about to expire. I think that approach could lead to obesity. I would rather throw it away.

I would feel more guilt about over-eating than throwing away food.
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:34
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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The other night, I whipped up some quark that was about to expire with some lime juice, herbs, and a little seasoning. I found it worked great with fish or for dipping. So you can learn something with experiments.
This can backfire if you don't keep detailed records.

I have made a couple such meals which were a great hit when I first served them. One person in particular asks me to make one of these again every single time I ask what I should cook. I must have attempted to duplicate the dish 20 times, but every time the response is "It's fine, but not like the first time you made it.".
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:41
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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Does anyone know if CH labels are regulated?
Not in the sense that they are legally required to have some particular meaning.

http://www.kl.zh.ch/internet/gesundh...auchsdatum.pdf
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:44
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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This can backfire if you don't keep detailed records.

I have made a couple such meals which were a great hit when I first served them. One person in particular asks me to make one of these again every single time I ask what I should cook. I must have attempted to duplicate the dish 20 times, but every time the response is "It's fine, but not like the first time you made it.".
That is so true. It happens to me. One marinade I concocted might have made me millions of bucks, except I can't repeat it.

The practice might help develop some finesse in handling ingredients. Some foods are actually best just right before they expire. Must be that slight fermentation process.

I'll pretend it is Haute Cuisine.
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Old 26.08.2016, 12:52
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Re: Poll: throwing food away.

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Ate a yoghurt last night that had a use by date of 20 Aug and it was perfectly fine, but it is yoghurt.
I regularly eat yoghurt and cheese up to 6 months past the date!

And cured meats, years after.

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 26.08.2016 at 13:11.
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