Friday, June 10, 2011

Food Waste Friday: It's About Time

This week's food waste is not nearly as sexy as previous weeks.  In fact, it's one of the least-sexy foods out there--Old Fashioned Quaker Oats.  I know what you're thinking: Does oatmeal really go bad?  The answer is not really, but for this batch, it's time  to let it go.

The backstory:  For some reason, before I moved from the Midwest to the East coast, everyone warned me about the cost of food.  Even my landlady, before she sent me the lease asked, "Are you prepared for the cost of living?  The cost of food?"  I don't know why everyone was so fixated on this point, but like the paranoid gal that I am, I believed them.  After all, once five people tell you something, you start to think they must be right.


I packed up a bunch of non-perishables and shipped them to my new apartment only to find that many of the items I'd paid to ship actually retailed for less than in the Midwest.  So I basically ended up paying $2.50/box for Tuna Helper, which is certainly not a good deal.  The only items I've noticed that cost significantly more here are: strawberry jam and bread.  For the jam, I switched to generic, and my quality of life is just as good. For the bread, I just try to buy it on sale.

In addition to shipping out Tuna Helper, I also brought along with me in my car the above drum of Quaker Oats.  Keep in mind that I packed my whole life into that car--everything I thought I would need to start fresh, and apparently that included instant oatmeal.  I had the notion in my head that I would live in romantic poverty--lit by candlelight and subsisting on rolled oats exclusively.  That's just not how people live outside of communist Russia.  Damn books!  Another point to keep in mind that I moved to Rhode Island almost four years ago, and had had that Oatmeal on hand for quite some time already.
Yeah, that's February '08.  Or, 3.5 years ago.
That is some seriously expired oatmeal, but I've still been working my way through it.  There are bugs in it, but I can usually skim them off the top, and I figure they won't hurt me.  But you know what?  I don't have to eat bugs--I'm better than that.  And I finally acted by throwing away the approximately 3 cups of oatmeal left in the drum.

I feel fantastic, but my shelf where the oatmeal always sat looks weird to me.


  1. We're cleaning my father-in-law's pantry out and there are some pretty scary things in there. He lived through the depression and the war and I think he is under the impression that it could all happen again so we need really old canned pineapple.

    And for the books, as an English teacher I know how many perfectly good children I have ruined with them :)

  2. It's so much fun to be ruined by books. I - for one - am disappointed when real life intrudes.

    This was hilarious. And you are better than eating bugs.