Is it still edible?

Found a nice resource from Eat By Date that answers that question for many of the foods we buy.

In our house, “Best Before” and “Eat by” dates are taken with a grain of salt. For foods we are less familiar with, they provide guidelines, but they are not hard and fast rules. But, we rarely base on judgements on anything scientific, preferring to tempt fate by relying on our senses of smell and taste.

Others live by these dates, thinking that science has already answered that question for them. The end result: a lot of good food ends up in the bin. This online resource attempts to save Jean-Francois and me from ourselves and a great deal of food from the bin at the same time.

Eat By Date’s mission is to answer one question: How long does food really last. And with what they have learnt, they have created a useful resource that goes beyond the date. Along the way, they give us more insight into common foods and help us be smarter consumers.

Take their entry on Lettuce, for example. Not only do they provide a table showing the leafy veg’s shelf life in the fridge, but they also share tips for longer storage (like rinsing and drying lettuce before it even goes in the refrigerator) and give insight on how lettuce fairs in a prepared dish (like that take-away Chinese you ordered three days ago).

Screenshot from website showing shelf life of lettuce

Screenshot from website showing shelf life of lettuce

The site is clean, easy to use, and informative. If more people refer to this resource or others, I am sure less food would make it into the bin.

How Long Does Food Last? Shelf Life & Expiration Date Guide.


15 thoughts on “Is it still edible?

    • I am happy you found it useful. I made the mistake of buying a bag of oranges from Whole Foods last week and am now watching them slowly surrender to mould. This after rinsing them in a water, baking soda, and vinegar bath. I would love a solution for that, too.

  1. Thanks for the info on the website! Looks great and easy to use. I often, too, go by smell and sight. I have a very sensitive nose for these things. Even so, sometimes I feel guilty serving up something to my family that I know has been in the fridge for a while. This website just confirms for me that I can trust my nose and eyes! And, it is a good resource for double checking.

    • You are welcome. My biggest challenge is keeping root veg fresh. For some reason, any potato (sweet or not) that finds its way into our home, starts spouting and going soft within seconds of being put in our makeshift cellar.

      And I get what you are saying about having a way to confirm that you senses are goods. Validation is a nice thing.

      • Do you store your onions and potatoes together? We recently learned that onions produce a gas that make potatoes spoil a lot faster. We now keep them separate and notice that the potatoes last a lot longer.

      • No, we store them separately, but on the same shelf in the pantry. I think I am going to have to take some old jeans and turn them into mock root cellars for potatoes and onions and garlic.

  2. Great resource that I will be recommending to my cancer nutrition workshop attendees. I use common sense and my acute sense of smell to make most decisions but I would never play fast and loose with poultry or recommend others do so. It can be off before we realise and the consequences are a bit more drastic than with other slightly off foods.

    • Certainly one of the benefits of eating a plant-based diet is that they don’t normally kill or send you to the hospital (provided they’ve been handled properly in the shipping process). Begin vegan also eliminated any cross-contamination concerns. Clean-up is now a cinch.

      But there’s nothing quite so notable in the fridge as a brassica (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) gone south — even compared with rotting bird flesh. Ew.

  3. I’ve not seen this! There’s another, similar one called StillTasty (I think even JF recommended it a while back) that I use, but this one is very nice indeed. We eat mostly fresh so it’s good to have a quick reference to new foods we’ve purchased; storage is tight in my small kitchen.

    Adding it to “My People” page. Thanks. :)

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