Translating Fresh Food Labels

How do you know if the food in your refrigerator, which has an expiration date on it, can still be used by you for a safe meal?

Are you throwing away good food?

It is often confusing about how long it is safe to eat an item after the “sell by date”. I understand that it is defined for the store retailer. I know to purchase the freshest item. What should I do if I purchased the item long before the “sell by date” – but I did not use it – Now what?

Lindsay Backer, a registered dietitian and food safety expert advises that if it is meat, it is not recommended to go much beyond the sell by date. The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises to use or freeze beef, veal, pork, and lamb products with a “Sell-By” date within 3 to 5 days of purchase. Fresh chicken, turkey, ground meat, and ground poultry should be cooked or frozen within 1 to 2 days of purchase.

Web MD has other recommendations that we can use to help us decipher how to manage getting the best freshness from our food purchases and making sure not to waste the food we buy.

*Best if used by (or before)” date:
Refers to quality not safety.
*Use by” date: Last date at peak quality (by manufacturer).
* Milk is ok up to one week after “Sell By” date.
* Eggs purchased before “Sell By” date are ok 3-5 weeks after.

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Probiotic Food Choices for You :)

This post covers more news about sources from which  we can acquire the health benefits of probiotics (live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system), along with the  suggestion that we try to gain some of the

benefits through our groceries, rather than consuming supplements, which you may remember, are not regulated by the FDA.

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Farm to Table, GMO’s, Organic: What’s the difference?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to focus more attention on what type of groceries I am purchasing.  In addition, I want the recipes I make to be creative, tasty and healthful.  My grandmother cooked what could be called ‘soul food’, which was always delicious and she was healthy all her life. She lived to be 94 years old.  My grandmother was not the only person I know of who lived a long life and ate things like collard greens, macaroni & cheese, biscuits. I also remember her having a garden, where she grew all kinds  of vegetables and from which she used to cook her dinner. I actually don’t recall her using a lot of fertilizer on the vegetables she grew.

Recently, I treated myself  and bought the TV Chef Carla Hall’s Soul Food cookbook.  I trusted that when I have seen her on TV she is always doing the right thing by food.  It’s tasty and the ingredients are the best she can find for the occasion. She is creative. Often, when she’s cooking a version of ‘soul food’, Carla makes it a point to prepare her food lighter – by cutting calories – and cutting out fat.  This is how she was trained to cook by her grandmother; and, her grandmother was a dietitian at a hospital.  What better way to learn how to cook ‘good-for-you-soul food’?  Exciting!  Continue reading