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Should they stay or should they go?

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default Should they stay or should they go?

Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 9th October 2010, 7:22 pm

I've been having a bit of a cupboard tidy today and have got unopened bags of dried beans that are past their best before date
red kidney beans (bbe June 2010), haricot beans (bbe July 2010) and aduki beans (bbe Jan 2010). I hate being wasteful but should I throw them away or can I still use them?


Being on my own means I just don't get through some things fast enough.

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Post by mark barker on 9th October 2010, 8:31 pm

I'd suggest they'd be fine... I tend to stick to the guidance with fresh produce, but dried stuff is unlikely to deteriorate that much over a couple of months....

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Post by Adrian on 9th October 2010, 8:59 pm

I reused my (2 years) out of date dried chickpeas as baking beans for pastry..

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Post by Dandelion on 9th October 2010, 9:30 pm

My sister used to work for a well-known pharmaceutical company - OK, drugs aren't the same as food, but the sell-by dates on their products had a time margin. In other words, my sister used to say that if a product was best before the end of June 2010, it wouldn't suddenly go mouldy or lose its effectiveness on the evening of June 30th!!

I heard on radio 4 that there's a manufacturer who makes yogurt for three different supermarket chains. The yogurt is identical yet the sell-by dates for the three retailers vary by two weeks!

I have tried a few products a bit past their best dates, and have had various results. No-one has died yet... I wouldn't bother with bread mix which is out of date again, as it didn't rise, but things like dried beans , dried fruit etc should be OK. It comforts me that the food which was left by Scott in his last camp at the Antarctic is still edible. (OK, I know it's cold there...)

Well, that should dissuade anyone from this forum from coming round to eat at Dandelion Towers!!

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Post by Compostwoman on 9th October 2010, 11:35 pm

Best before dates are just that Ang, Best before..you can still use them after the date! As long as you have stored them according to the packaging instructions....

Use by is the one to be more fussy with, as it is applied to things which, if they "go wrong" could cause harm.


The UB dates are designed ( I believe, but do not quote me) to allow for people who go straight home with shopping in a cool bag and into a fridge at the correct temp AND those who go back to work for the afternoon and have fridges which "less than ideal"

They need to be adhered to, really.

I am a "Love Food Hate Waste " advisor, and as a third of all the food we all buy gets thrown away, it is good to know whch dates are "throw away" ones and which are " ok to eat for a bit after...."


More info here

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Post by Lizbuff13 on 10th October 2010, 5:41 am

The biggest problem with dry beans that are old....in my experience....is that they might never soften when cooked for hours.....other than that, they should be fine to eat. Your things don't seem that outdated. Also, like badger mentioned....you can always grind (if you have a way to do it) beans into flour and add them to soups and breads to increase the protein content.

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Post by Guest on 10th October 2010, 10:14 am

I think about what the product "will do next"..... will it get dry with age, loose its flavour, absorb too much moisture, perfect a green fur coat or things start crawling out? And then decide on whether it can be cooked for longer, used as bulk, fed to the chickens or turned into electricity (thats what happens to our household waste!)

With beans they will get very dry, but a shorter best before date might be because of the hatching factor!

What I would do is soak the beans in boiling water.... if nothing crawls out....cook up a big stew/soup with all the veg cleared from the garden, including pumpkin and freeze.

Foot Note: I knew someone who worked for a chocolate manufacturer and the eat by date means "eat it before the next festive season so you will buy more"

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Post by Compostwoman on 10th October 2010, 11:08 am

If you do decide to throw them, they will happily compost!

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Post by Snoopka on 10th October 2010, 12:42 pm

CW - "Love Food, Hate Waste" - what a fantastic site, thank you so much, it went straight into My Favorites. Smile
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Post by Compostwoman on 10th October 2010, 1:16 pm

Very Happy

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 10th October 2010, 3:45 pm

Thanks
There's no weevils or anything crawling around in the bags. I'll give them a go and see what happens and if they don't taste too good then I'll compost them.

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Post by Compostwoman on 10th October 2010, 4:22 pm

If they have been sealed up I really would not worry, myself. We are currently eating some May 2010 raisins!

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Post by Snoopka on 10th October 2010, 4:44 pm

I have to confess that, up until I discovered that food moths can, apparently, harbour diseases (saw that when I googled for a friend), I sometimes still used food that had had the larvae or the moths themselves. I just brushed away the webs and droppings and live or dead maggots, as long as the food could be cooked. That happened with flour, oatflakes, and probably other foodstuffs.

I figured that cooking will kill any bacteria or other organisms anyway, it seemed bad to just throw food away....

I did not always tell the people I cooked for, that I was doing this.... Laughing In fact, I might never have told anyone....
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Post by Jaded Green on 10th October 2010, 7:15 pm

I ahve found that elderly dried beans fail to soften = but yours don't sounds that oldto me. i thikn i ahve soem older ones in my cupboard, which I might try pressure cooking.

I have a terrible time with food moths - my rule is if i find evidence of them the food goes, but i do wonder what i amy have cooked andd consumed not knowing they wre there!

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Post by Chilli-head on 11th October 2010, 10:03 am

On saturday I made popcorn from a packet marked with a best before sometime in 2007. I still seem to be alive Very Happy
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