Last night we got home from grocery shopping and had to put some things in the fridge. Fridge, though, is packed full, so I suggested checking the expiration date on some marinade we had bought a while ago, to see if it was still good.
It was not. Really not. I think it had a 2009 date. Whoops.
So that started off a frenzy of checking dates on all sorts of condiments and jarred items in the fridge. Yes, this is what I do for fun at 9pm on a Friday night. Is it any wonder Misaki is always yawning at us?
By the time we were done going through things there was plenty of room in the fridge for the new groceries. Um, yay us?
Since we like to think of ourselves as somewhat socially responsible I now had a big group of glass jars to clean out so we could recyle the bottles. The list looked something like this:
French's yellow mustard (okay, no glass, but still)
KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (again, no glass)
Thai chili sauce
Olive tapenade (for sandwiches or crackers)
(2) Williams-Sonoma marinades
Heinz 57 steak sauce
A-1 steak sauce
Salsa (okay, I really should have known better - of course that was bad!)
Guacamole mix (just add avocado! - ditto the salsa)
And there were probably more - that list is embarrassing enough. And yes, there were multiple items with a 2009 date. There were also things that had no date where we just made a judgment call.
I will say I don't think we used any of these expired. Maybe. I guess I can't say that with any kind of assurance.
I'm of two minds about all of this throwing away stuff. One, most of it cost a decent amount of money, so that sucks. Then again, it was spent so long ago and - for some of these - for a specific purpose which probably turned out yummy, so maybe it was worth it.
Another part of me felt satisfied. I mean, these items are where the majority of hidden sodiums and sugars come for people. Now not only is it out of my fridge but them being expired is one indication perhaps we're eating better than we used to. Or, at least, I can tell myself that, regardless of whether or not it's true.
I'm also not entirely convinced all of that stuff was bad. I know dates are required by the FDA and generally they are a decent guideline, but they are hardly the last word in good or bad. Then again, why would I go out of my way to risk it?
This is also a vicious cycle. We'll now probably end up buying another jar of something here and there as we need them for specific recipes, and at some point in the future do this all over again. It's funny, I can't remember my parents ever doing this - condiments didn't go old in our house.
So here's just a tiny bit of advice, dear readers (all three of you). Take a gander at those jars in the door of your fridge. Have any of them expired? And have you been using them despite them being expired and not known it? And how disgusted are you after doing that?
Who wants to come to dinner?