Thursday, December 16, 2010

To Toss or Not to Toss?

According to a new estimate released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  about 48 million people get sick and more than 3,000 die each year from food poisoning in the United States. That means that one in six Americans become ill each year from tainted food.

I have a tendency to get sick to my stomach easily, so I always err on the side of caution when it comes to throwing food in the fridge away if it has been sitting there longer than I deem appropriate. But truth be told, I am not really too sure about what an “appropriate” shelf-life is for a lot of food. I am possibly throwing away a lot of food that is in perfectly suitable condition for consumption.

Apparently I am not alone. Whole Living Magazine says that Americans waste roughly 14 percent of their food purchases annually, and 15 percent of that includes products that were within their expiration date.

The next time you are wondering if that milk, cheese, or spinach should go into your nightly meal, or into the trash, look it up on shelfadvice.com. The site was created by a college professor (not a crack-pot) and includes recommended shelf life of most ingredients, as well as up-to-date info on food safety recalls and storage tips to maximize freshness. 

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