Here's how you help the environment, save money and get one over on the supermarkets
Before the economic crisis, few people would have considered paying for produce well past its best-before date. But now, thanks to increased public awareness about environmental issues and food ethics (together with rising food prices and a general disillusionment with corporate power), all kinds of people are choosing to shop at stores where all the groceries on offer have been thrown out by supermarkets.
‘Approved Food’ is the first business of its kind in Britain, operating as an online shop. They sell out-of-date food to bargain hunters who are “all about value for money“, according to owner Dan Cluderay. He was rejected by Dragon’s Den investors, but time has shown that it was their loss (he is now a millionaire thanks to this venture). With savings of up to £60 (around $90) on weekly groceries, many Britons are keen to buy from Approved Food.
Although a cynic might argue that Cluderay is making a fortune from selling crap produce to people who are too poor to go elsewhere, Approved Food is keeping food out of landfill and offering a welcome alternative to shoppers from all walks of life, as the video below shows. It’s 2015, and being savvy and thrify is almost fashionable.
Cluderay is keen to educate the public about the differences between a sell by date (used by supermarkets for their own internal purposes), a best before date (which relates to quality, not food safety), and a use by date (which needs to be taken into consideration for meat, fish, and other potentially harmful fresh produce). This week, he gave an interview to i100 in which he named ten foods you can eat past their best before date, without any worry at all. With the global population throwing away a third of all food produced each year and dumpster–diving creeping out of the counter-culture and into the mainstream, Cluderay’s tips are well worth sharing!
1) Chocolate is preserved by sugar, and it lasts a lot longer than supermarkets would have us believe.
2) Ketchup and similar sauces will be edible for at least a year, as long as you follow the instructions and keep them in a refrigerator!
3) Milk lasts a surprisingly long time. If it doesn’t smell and hasn’t curdled, it’s perfectly fine to drink.
4) Eggs are another thing you probably wouldn’t expect on this list, but anyone who keeps chickens will tell you to ignore the stamped-on dates: if the egg sinks in a pan of water, it’s safe. If it floats, it’s started to rot on the inside. Simple!
5) Fruit and Vegetables which aren’t moldy, rotten (or slimy in the case of mushrooms) will usually taste just great, whatever the packet tells you.
6) Yogurt may look vile when moldy, but your taste buds won’t notice the difference for all those willing to scrape that yucky bit off…
7) Bread, as long as it’s not moldy, can always be transformed through heating. Why not make a French bread pizza with an old baguette, or bruschetta with a stale sliced loaf? Bread pudding is another delicious way to recycle.
8) Hard Cheese is fine to eat as long as mold is not ingested.
9) Uncooked rice and pulses can last for years, so you can pretty much ignore the product date.
10) Potato Chips, which are preserved by salt.
To prove that food past its use-by date can still pass the all-important taste test, the video below conducts a little experiment with some hula hoop potato chips from Approved Food…