I went through my freezer today and I am happy to say that most everything is being eaten through thus less waste. This has not always been the case. Did you see that Oprah episode where the mom was throwing out food every week to replace it with fresh groceries? The amount of food she threw out was amazing. Might as well put your money in the trash.
I think often even I get caught up in the freshness of a product and the sell by dates. I usually rely on the smell test but thought there has to be a better measure. And there is.
Here is a quick list and general rule of thumb for when to toss those mystery packages in the freezer:
Ground meats: 3–4 months in the freezer
Hot dogs: 1–2 months in the freezer
Eggs: 3–5 weeks in the refrigerator
Dry onions: 2 months in the refrigerator
Opened lunch meats: 3–5 days in the refrigerator
Flour: lasts longest in the freezer
Dried peas and beans: up to 1 year
Keep this in mind too, some local food pantries will take canned food donations up to 2 years past their expiration dates.
With all this in mind, I encourage grocery store shopping early in the morning or late in the evening to get the best deals on discounted meats, breads and clearance bin goods. Stack this on top of your regular coupon finds and now you are saving!
Read more aboutsell by dates here. “Besides, as University of Minnesota food scientist Ted Labuza explained to me, expiration dates address quality—optimum freshness—rather than safety and are extremely conservative.”
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup.
Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.
For a quick snack, spread pesto oven a whole wheat pita, add slices of tomato, onions and a bit of feta. Cook in over for 10-15 mins at 325 degrees. I cut it up into triangles and served it to the kids.