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USE BY DATES

September 2, 2013

I didn’t listen to Woman’s Hour because Jamie Oliver was on it – I just put it on if I’m in the kitchen or car at the time it’s on. So it was just by chance I caught most of his interview.

He was getting loads of criticism for his previous comments on feeding families but to be fair to him he’s just passionate about what he does. When he first started out – and for many years – we loved him but I think we’re just suspicious of the marketing and sales side which has overtaken him. Plus the amount of publicity around everything he does.

However something he said this morning struck a chord with me. He said about using “stuff going soggy in the fridge” and I suddenly realised apart from my butter and milk there is nothing in my fridge with a sell by date!

Fresh!

Fresh!

It’s not quite up to Nigel Slater’s fridge with everything wrapped in waxed paper but it’s not far off. Tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and potatoes are all in paper bags, onions and corn on the cob are loose.

The mince and sausage from the butcher are in plastic bags, as is the chorizo from the market.

I keep all my cheese wrapped individually in grease proof paper together in a plastic box. It’s possibly not the ideal way to keep it but I find it lasts longer that way.

My homemade chutney and jelly jars have a made on date written on but again no best before deadline.

Chilli Pepper Jam

Chilli Pepper Jam

If it looks good and smells ok then as far as I’m concerned it’s fit to eat. Perhaps this is another advantage of not buying from the supermarket. I think if you open a sealed pack of meat, cheese or whatever that has had chemical preservatives added to make it look better and supposedly last for longer then as soon as it is opened to the air it deteriorates much quicker than a “fresh” food.

Plus I’m in control of what to eat when. As I’ve said before I look in the fridge, see what I’ve got, and use it up. No waste, less cost.

But you need to know what to do with it and that is the bit that has been lost in many homes despite the huge interest in Masterchef and Great British Bake Off etc many people are on limited budgets and find it easier to manage if they buy seven meals off the shelf – job done.

Jamie’s campaign will make no difference to that.

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