Food Tips

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on eating better.

Foods to Help You Live a Long, Healthy Life
10 Foods Tough to Digest
11 Featured Nutrients: Why You Need Them
Superfoods: The Next Frontier
Healthy Eating on $7 a Day: Top Staples
USDA Requires Labeling of Mechanically Tenderized Meat
Food Pyramid
The vast majority of expiration dates are completely bogus -- here's how long your food is still good
Kids Cooking for Life

Superfoods: The Next Frontier


Had it up to here with broccoli? Join the club. But it's hard to take it off the menu when it's such a great source of vitamins and minerals. Still, is a little variety too much to ask?

Not anymore, thanks to research that's shifting the spotlight to a new generation of health-boosting foods--many of which do double or triple duty to help prevent illness. Here are six on the brink of superstar status.

1. Pomegranate

If you're going to have a martini, at least make it a pomegranate one. This fall fruit has higher antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea, which may be why a number of studies show it may prevent skin cancer and kill breast and prostate cancer cells. It also helps:

Fight Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at Loma Linda University found that mice who drank pomegranate juice experienced 50% less brain degeneration than animals that consumed only sugar water. The pomegranate drinkers also did better in mazes and tests as they aged.

Guard your arteries

A group of diabetics who drank about 2 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for 3 months kept their bodies from absorbing bad cholesterol into their immune system cells (a major contributing factor to hardened arteries), discovered Israeli researchers.

2. Kiwifruit

Don't judge this fruit by its cover: Under that bristly brown peel you'll find a bright green star bursting with antioxidants and full of fiber. Kiwifruit works to:

Protect against free radical damage

A study from Rutgers University compared the 27 most popular fruits and determined that kiwifruit was the most nutritionally dense. Plus, it makes the short list of fruits with substantial amounts of vitamin E, and contains more vision-saving lutein than any other fruit or vegetable, except for corn.

Lower blood-clot risk

In a 2004 study from the University of Oslo in Norway, participants who ate two or three kiwis for 28 days significantly reduced their potential to form a clot. They also got a bonus benefit: Their triglycerides, a blood fat linked to heart attack, dropped by 15%.

3. Barley

When some whole grains, such as wheat and oats, are processed, they lose their fiber content. Not so with barley, which is full of soluble beta-glucan fiber in its whole kernel or refined flour form. Studies show this particular fiber may:

Knock down bad cholesterol—by as much as 17.4%, according to USDA research

A 2004 study found that adults with moderately high cholesterol levels who went on a low-fat American Heart Association diet began to see an improvement only when barley was added to the menu.

Decrease blood sugar and insulin levels

That makes barley a better choice for people with type 2 diabetes, says a 2005 Agricultural Research Services study.

4. Cranberry

This born-and-bred American berry is among the top 10 antioxidant-rich foods, making it a potent cancer protector. You know it helps treat urinary tract infection, and perhaps you heard it prevents gum disease, too, but did you know that these beneficial berries may:

Eradicate E. coli

Compounds in the juice can actually alter antibiotic-resistant strains, making it impossible for the harmful bacteria to trigger an infection. A small pilot study from Harvard Medical School and Rutgers University found that eating about 1/3 cup of dried cranberries yielded the same effect.

Help prevent strokes

Research on pigs with a genetic predisposition to atherosclerosis—narrow, hardened arteries that may lead to heart attack and stroke—found that those fed dried cranberries or juice every day had healthier, more flexible blood vessels.

5. Broccoli Sprouts

Yes, we've been through this—broccoli, good. The news: Broccoli sprouts are even better. At a mere 3 days old, they contain at least 20 times as much of disease-fighting sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) as their elders; SGS has been shown to:

Kill tumors

The chemical triggers enzymes in the body that either kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. Just 1 ounce of sprouts has as much SGS as 1 1/4 pounds of broccoli. That'll save you lots of chewing.

Protect your heart

People who ate about a half cup a day of sprouts lowered their total cholesterol by an average of 15 points, and women in the study raised their good cholesterol by 8 points—in just 1 week, found a Japanese pilot study.

Save your sight

Exposure to UV sunlight over time may lead to an eye condition called macular degeneration, which is the number one cause of blindness in US seniors. Researchers at Johns Hopkins determined that broccoli sprouts can protect retinal cells from ultraviolet light damage.

6. Kefir

This cultured milk drink stacks up in calcium—one 8-ounce serving contains 30% of the recommended daily intake—and contains more beneficial bacteria than yogurt. It may also:

Reduce food allergies

Baby mice fed kefir had a threefold reduction in the amount of an antibody linked to food allergies, say researchers at an agricultural university.

Battle breast cancer

Women age 50 and older who consumed fermented milk products had a lower risk than those who ate little or none.

Avoid triggering lactose intolerance

Kefir contains lactase, the enzyme that people with lactose intolerance are missing, say researchers at Ohio State University. And the taste? Like plain yogurt, just a little thinner.
Source: health.msn.com/centers/cardio/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100159956

11 Featured Nutrients: Why You Need Them


Beta Carotene

What it does:

In the body, beta carotene is converted to vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy vision, immune function and cell growth. It also acts as an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals.

How much you need:

There's no RDA for beta carotene.

Food Sources of Beta Carotene:

Eat plenty of dark green vegetables and orange vegetables and fruits (papaya, mango) weekly to meet your vitamin A needs and reap beta carotene's potential antioxidant benefits.

B12

What it does:

Vitamin B12 is used in making DNA, the building block of genes, and in maintaining healthy nerve and red blood cells.

How much you need:

2.4 micrograms a day for people 14 and older provides all the body needs—although some researchers have argued that a daily intake of 6 micrograms would ensure absorption.

Food sources of B12:

B12 is bound to protein, so foods like meat, fish, eggs and dairy products like yogurt and milk are the principal sources.

Chromium

What it does:

Chromium is required by the body for the process that turns food into usable energy, helping insulin prime cells to take up glucose.

How much you need:

Despite disappointing findings on chromium supplements and weight loss, the body still needs it. The daily recommended intake for adults is 50 to 200 mcg.

Food sources of chromium:

Best sources of chromium are whole-grain breads and cereals, meat, nuts, prunes, raisins, beer and wine.

Vitamin K

What it does:

Vitamin K is used by the body to produce an array of different proteins. Some of them are used to create factors that allow blood to coagulate—critical in stemming bleeding and allowing cuts and wounds to heal.

How much you need:

The current recommended daily intake of vitamin K is 90 micrograms for women and 120 for men. Luckily, vitamin K deficiency is extremely uncommon.

Food Sources of Vitamin K:

Kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, arugula, green leaf lettuce, soybean oil, canola oil, olive oil and tomatoes.

Potassium

What it does:

Potassium is involved in almost every vital body process: maintaining blood pressure, heart and kidney function, muscle contraction, even digestion.

How much you need:

Surveys show that most Americans get less than half the recommended amounts of potassium, which is 4,700 milligrams (mg) daily for adults and teens.

Food sources of potassium:

Foods that are closest to their original states are best, so be sure to choose whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible, especially fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and lean meats.

Magnesium

What it does:

Necessary for some of the body's most basic processes, magnesium triggers more than 300 biochemical reactions—most importantly the production of energy from the food we eat.

How much you need:

Around 300 mg/day (women) and 350 mg/day (men), with the upper limit for supplemental magnesium at 350 mg.

Food sources of magnesium:

The mineral is abundant in avocados, nuts and leafy greens including acorn squash, kiwi and almonds.

Vitamin C

What it does:

Researchers have long known that vitamin C is an essential building block of collagen, the structural material for bone, skin, blood vessels and other tissue.

How much you need:

The current recommended daily intake for men is 90 mg and for women it is 75 mg. The body can only absorb a maximum of about 400 milligrams a day.

Food Sources of Vitamin C:

Virtually everything in the produce section including oranges, green bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, cantaloupe and tomatoes, turnip greens, sweet potatoes and okra.

Vitamin D

What it does:

Early on, most of the concern focused on bones, since vitamin D, working along with calcium, helps build and maintain them.

How much you need:

Official recommendations now call for 200 IU for children and 600 IU for people over 71, with other groups falling somewhere between.

Food sources of vitamin D:

We rely on fortified milk and breakfast cereals to get most of our dietary vitamin D. Apart from a few kinds of fish, including herring and sardines, there aren't many natural food sources, which leaves supplements and direct sunlight.

Folate/Folic Acid

What it does:

Folate is necessary for the production of new cells, including red blood cells. Folate deficiency remains a major cause of spinal-cord defects in newborns.

How much you need:

Many dietitians recommend taking a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid; 1,000 mcg per day is the safe upper limit for folic acid.

Food sources of folate:

Rich sources of folate include liver, dried beans and peas, spinach and leafy greens, asparagus and fortified cereals.

Zinc

What it does:

Zinc is integral to almost every cell of the human body, from keeping the immune system healthy to regulating testosterone.

How much you need:

The recommended dietary intake for men is 11 mg/day, for women 8 mg/day.

Food Sources of zinc:

Oysters, cooked beef tenderloin, turkey, chickpeas, roast chicken leg, pumpkin seeds, cooked pork tenderloin, plain low-fat yogurt, wheat germ, tofu, dry roasted cashews and Swiss cheese.

Vitamin E

What it does:

Scientists have not yet elucidated all of vitamin E's roles, but they hypothesize that it has a role in immune function, DNA repair, the formation of red blood cells and vitamin K absorption.

How much you need:

The RDA in men and women is 23 IU, or 15 milligrams, and because many E-rich foods come from nuts and oils, some low-fat diets may be inadequate in vitamin E.

Food Sources of Vitamin E:

Wheat germ oil. Sunflower seeds, cooked spinach, almonds, safflower oil and hazelnuts.
Source: health.msn.com/dietfitness/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100161359

10 Foods Tough to Digest


Fried chicken nuggets

Anytime you take a food, dip it in batter and then deep fry it, you turn it into something that can be a bit hard on the gut. Fried foods inevitably are greasy and high in fat, both of which spell trouble for the stomach. If you already suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, greasy foods are especially problematic and can cause symptoms like nausea and diarrhea, says Tara Gidus, a dietitian in Orlando, Fla. To make a healthier version, take frozen chicken nuggets (or use your own breadcrumb batter on chicken breasts) and bake them rather than frying.

The advice to forgo fried for flavorful alternatives is also helpful for other traditionally greasy snacks, like potato chips. To get the crunchy, salty sensation of chips without the unfortunate side effects, look for baked versions of potato chips or switch to low- or no-fat snacks like pretzels, air-popped popcorn or soy crisps.

Spicy food

Hot peppers—such as cayenne or jalapeno—give food a wonderful spicy kick, but they can also irritate the lining of the esophagus on the way down. The result: an unpleasant heartburn-like feeling after you eat. “Even if you try to cool down the heat by adding sour cream, you’re still getting all the spice and the same amount of irritation,” warns Gidus. So rather than trying to mask spice with high-fat cream, opt for milder versions if you routinely suffer side effects.

Chocolate

Most of the unfortunate consequences surrounding this rich delicacy come not from simply eating chocolate, but from overeating it. One small brownie as an occasional treat probably is fine; a triple brownie a la mode probably is not. But anyone who suffers from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) can experience problems from even a small portion of chocolate. That’s because chocolate causes the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid to come back up.

Citrus juices

These acidic drinks can irritate the esophagus, stimulating the sensory nerves to feel more inflamed. This might feel like acid reflux, but in reality is just irritation. In the stomach, however, the extra acid of the drink can cause other problems. If you haven’t eaten (say, you down a big glass of OJ first thing in the morning), your gut is already full of acid, so adding the extra can give you a stomach ache. And if you’re drinking lemonade that’s sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, watch out: That huge influx of sugar is often a cause of diarrhea.

Mashed potatoes

Nothing seems more benign than a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes. After all, that’s why they rank near the top of the list when it comes to so-called “comfort foods.” But if you happen to be one of approximately 30 to 50 million Americans who are lactose intolerant, you’ll find no comfort in those spuds, since most are loaded with milk or even heavy cream. Make them at home using lactose-free whole milk for the same creaminess minus the after-effects.

Raw onion

Onions and their cousins like garlic, leeks and shallots are filled with a variety of phytonutrient compounds—some of which seem to offer healthy, heart-protective benefits, and some of which cause stomach distress (or it could be the same compounds that do both). Cooking them seems to deactivate some of the problem-causing compounds. But on the chance that you’re also deactivating some of the good stuff, dietician Mary Ryan, suggests using mix of cooked and raw so that you can reap the benefits without suffering the consequences.

Ice cream

There’s no quicker way to determine if you’re lactose intolerant than to sit down with a big bowl of ice cream. The bloating, cramping and gas are clear messages: Your system is trying to tell you to stay away from such rich dairy products. If that’s the case, the only solution is switching to lactose-free frozen treats (such as those made from soy or rice milk). But even if you’re not lactose intolerant, scarfing down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting still will give you some stomach trouble. That’s because it’s essentially all fat, and fat lingers in the stomach longer than other foods before getting digested.

Broccoli and raw cabbage

These fiber- and nutrient-rich vegetables are incredibly healthy, but they are also well-known for causing gas buildup in the gut. Fortunately, the solution is simple. “Cooking them—or even just blanching them slightly—will deactivate the sulfur compounds that cause gas,” explains Ryan.

Beans

Beans have such a notorious reputation for causing gastric distress that they even spawned their own rhyme (come on, you all know it! “Beans, beans …”). And there is some truth to it. The enzyme needed to break down beans is found only in our stomach bacteria. And if you don’t routinely eat beans, you might not have enough of this enzyme to comfortably digest them. The result, of course, is gas and bloating. Cooking beans in soup can help—the extra fluid will help digest the large amounts of fiber beans contain, and the extra cooking time will start breaking the beans down even before you eat them. By adding beans to your diet gradually, you will help build up the enzyme necessary to digest them without issue.

Sugar-free gum

Sorbitol, the ingredient found in many sugar-free gums, candies and diet bars and shakes, can cause an uncomfortable buildup of gas in your gut. Check the labels before you buy to see if you can find sugar-free products that use less troublesome sugar substitutes. Amount also is an issue, warns Gidus. Most people can handle two or three grams without any problems, but a product that packs 10 or more grams will undoubtedly be tough on the digestion.
Source: health.msn.com/centers/heartburnandgerd/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100159206

Foods to Help You Live a Long, Healthy Life


Want to live long and well? Build these super foods into your daily diet. Good nutrition is so much more than food to eat. Food and beverages that contain a powerhouse of nutrients can not only satisfy your appetite, but also ward off chronic diseases and keep you looking your best. How do you get enough of the super-nutritious foods every day? Try these tips from WebMD's director of nutrition, Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD.

Antioxidant Super Foods

Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage. Eat plenty of foods rich in antioxidants such as almonds, berries, citrus, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

Top your cereal with almonds or berries; add tomatoes to sandwiches, soups or stews; layer your whole grain bread sandwich with slices of peppers and fresh spinach.

Pack a snack bag of nuts, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and bell pepper slices for a nutritious pick-me-up between meals.

Fruit and nut granola bars stash easily into briefcases for quick energy and a tasty treat.

Calcium

Calcium is the super nutrient that keeps bones and teeth strong. Now research shows that low-fat dairy also helps people lose weight! The best sources of calcium come from the cow.

Start your day with café au lait made with half skim milk and half strong coffee. Or order your latte skinny at your favorite coffee house. Add a bowl of whole grain cereal topped with skim milk and fresh fruit for a breakfast of champions.

Snack on low-fat yogurt or cheese between meals for an energizing treat.

Calcium-fortified juices and cereals are excellent alternatives to meet your three-a-day requirement.

Fiber

Fiber does wonderful things for the body, from lowering cholesterol levels, keeping you regular, and perhaps preventing certain cancers. Grandma called it roughage and we need plenty of it each day.

Read food labels to find whole grain breads and cereals that provide three or more grams of fiber per serving. A bowl full of bran or high-fiber cereal is a great start to meeting your daily needs.

Load up on whole fruits and veggies for a healthy dose of fiber. Aim for five to nine servings a day. Juices don't contain as much fiber as whole fruit.

Beans are loaded with fiber and protein, so add them to soups, stews, salads, eggs, and salsas.

Soy

Soy can lower cholesterol, which can help prevent cardiovascular disease. This super nutrient is a newcomer on the block and is gaining in popularity.

Tofu takes on the flavor of foods that it is cooked with. Try a stir-fry of colorful veggies and cubed tofu with a light Asian sauce for a quick meal. You can also find cereals at the store loaded with both soy and fiber. Serve with skim milk and you'll get three super nutrients for breakfast.

Take a soy protein bar for a quick snack or lunch during the day. Soy nuts are another great portable snack option.

Edamame (Japanese name for green soybeans) are snacks even kids will love! Find these nutritious nuggets in the freezer section at your supermarket. Serve them plain or with a low-fat dip.

Water

Most of us don't get enough of this precious stuff. As a result, we may look peaked and feel fatigued. Our bodies are composed of more fluid than anything else, so water is a vital nutrient for our well-being.

Fill up a quart size water bottle each morning and keep it with you for quick and refreshing drinks throughout the day.

Don't rely on thirst; this sensation diminishes with age. Drink often and choose from nutritious liquids, including 100% fruit and vegetable juices, skim or low fat milk, broths, sparkling water, and teas.

You can also get fluids from foods, especially those that are liquid at room temperature. Try gelatin, frozen yogurt, soups, watermelon, pickles, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
Source: Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, my.webmd.com/content/article/80/96417.htm

Healthy Eating on $7 a Day: Top Staples


Whole wheat pasta: Make the switch to whole wheat pasta, a complex starchy carbohydrate, as an essential part of a cost-conscious healthy diet. You will be able to find some tasty brands with a bit of trial-and-error. You won’t miss your favorite white-flour pasta, and you’ll get more fiber as part of the switch. At $1.99 a pound bulk at most natural grocery stores, it’s slightly more expensive than rice. Pair with a classic tomato sauce or serve as a bed for vegetables, nuts and a measured amount of cheese.

Eggs: Here is a budget superfood, plain and simple. Nutrient-dense eggs are a relatively cheap source of protein, given that most meats and seafood are too expensive for an economizing budget. Eggs contain vitamin A, lecithin and biotin for boosts to both your muscles and brain. They’re also convenient to keep around and easy to prepare.

Nuts and seeds: At first, nuts and seeds—sesame, flax, almonds, walnuts and cashews and others—can seem expensive if you look at their cost per pound. But you can stay on the $7-a-Day plan if you watch for sales. For example, recently at a Whole Foods Market both almonds and cashews were on sale for $3.99 per pound. Nuts and seeds add flavor, healthy fats, protein and sometimes calcium. They’re great with all meals, including snacks. The key is to eat what you need, instead of absentmindedly stuffing a handful into your mouth. If you are hungry, a dozen almonds could be enough to keep you going until your next meal.

Potatoes: one of the more versatile and fun budget foods. Potatoes are another complex starchy carbohydrate essential to a healthy diet. Rich in fiber and minerals, they add texture and variety and fill you up. Be sure to eat the skins to gain the most nutritional value. Try oven-baked “fries” using a bit of oil to coat, season with salt and pepper, then bake at 425 to 450 degrees until crispy brown.

Canned tomato sauce: Tomatoes contain vitamin C and are an excellent source of cancer-fighting lycopene. The tangy taste of tomatoes adds zest to the $7-a-Day plan diet. Fresh tomatoes (spotted in January at $3.99 per pound at a Whole Foods Market in Colorado) are too expensive. But a 14-ounce can of tomato sauce costs $1.69 and can be stretched to serve in soups and sauces.

Organic brown rice: Rice, especially brown rice, is an essential item for inexpensive yet healthy eating. At $1.39 to $1.49 a pound at most natural food groceries, it’s affordable and can stretch a meal. Brown rice contains complex starchy carbohydrates that are an important part of your overall diet. Plus, you get more fiber and a bit more protein than white rice. You also might like the heartier flavor.

Beans and tofu: When possible, look for organic bulk dried beans and tofu. Beans and tofu are an excellent source of protein, especially when you’re eating on a budget. Bulk beans are less expensive than canned beans. Depending on the type, bulk beans can be cheap as 30 cents a cup. You need to learn about proper soaking and cooking—ask supermarket bulk-section managers for tips. In any case, the plus side (along with the savings) is that one pot of cooked beans—say, Tuscan white beans—goes a long way, and can be part of different meals (pasta, soups, tortilla wraps, dips and more).

Organic bulk oatmeal: This is a classic breakfast, and when you buy it in bulk at about 89 cents per pound it is much cheaper than the $2 per pound pre-packaged price tag. It’s a complex starchy carbohydrate that contains important vitamins and minerals, and is delicious and filling—especially when served with a few nuts, seeds and raisins. A power-packed idea: Buy flax seeds in bulk (less than $1 per pound at some stores), grind them in a coffee bean grinder (we can’t digest the whole seed) and mix a tablespoon into your morning cereal.

Bulk cornmeal: Look for organic when possible. Cornmeal makes a breakfast food high in B vitamins that is simple to prepare. Just add water and serve with a handful of raisins, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and perhaps a little molasses. At 59 cents per pound in the Whole Foods Market bulk aisle, it’s less expensive than oatmeal. And rotating it with oatmeal adds some variety.

Green veggies: The best picks here for healthy and cheap eating are kale, spinach, collards and other leafy greens. Also, look for broccoli on sale. Green veggies are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially calcium. They are a cheaper source of these nutrients than fruit. One suggestion that might take a bit of mindset recalibration: Green vegetables are an excellent choice for breakfast because they are naturally alkalizing, so they’ll help restore your body’s pH balance.
Source: health.msn.com/dietfitness/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100153608

USDA Requires Labeling of Mechanically Tenderized Meat


USDA's new requirement that the meat industry label cuts of meat that have been needle- or blade-tenderized is a common sense remedy that can protect consumers. This little-known but widespread industry practice can push surface pathogens to the interior of the meat, making those bacteria much harder to kill unless a consumer cooks the meat to well done. Consumers and restaurants should exercise more care when cooking these products and use a meat thermometer to ensure an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees, plus a three-minute rest period, or even 160 degrees.

USDA should accelerate the requirement and make labels mandatory by January 2014. In the meantime, consumers should ask at the meat counter if the products they are buying have been mechanically tenderized and select intact cuts if they prefer meat rare or medium rare.
Source: The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, that focuses on nutrition and food safety policies. CSPI is supported by the 900,000 U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and by foundation grants. cspinews@cspinet.org

The vast majority of expiration dates are completely bogus -- here's how long your food is still good


We waste a lot of food out of fear: experts estimate that $165 billion worth gets tossed each year.

But most expiration dates are largely made-up. According to The National Resource Defense Council, the "sell by" dates do indicate not whether or not foods are safe to eat — they simply tell you when food will reach its limits for "optimal quality."

Handy website StillTasty compiles data from sources like the USDA, the FDA, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as food manufacturers themselves. The site provides helpful tips on when to dispose of hundreds of household goods.

Tips about the "sell by, best buy, and used by" terms.

TheUSDA advises you to purchase the product before the "sell-by date," and the "best if used by (or before)" date indicates when the product will have optimal taste and quality. "Use-by" date simply indicates the last day the food will be at its top quality.

The USDA notes that it's okay to eat these foods past the dates on the packaging — however, this does not mean we are invincible from getting sick "If foods are mishandled," the USDA writes on its website, "food borne bacteria can grow, and if pathogens are present, cause foodborne illness — before or after the date on the package." The only exception is infant formula, as the USDA advises parents to not buy or even use baby formula once the "use-by" date rolls around.

What about mold?

Generally, a rule of thumb to go by is to pay attention to when you purchased or opened the food, rather than what the packaging says.

Uncooked poultry

According to the USDA, poultry can be stored in a refrigerator for 1 to 2 days after purchase. If cooked and the packaging is unopened, it will last roughly 3 to 4 days. Once opened, the chicken will last 3 to 4 days, as well.

Still Tasty notes you can keep chicken in the freezer for 9 months.

Uncooked beef, veal, pork, and lamb

Although the USDA advises to pay heed to the "use-by" date, you don't need to pay any mind to the "sell-by" date. The product will stay good for 3 to 5 days after purchase. StillTasty mentions that you can keep beef in the freezer for 6-12 months, and it will remain top quality.

Eggs

Eggs in egg carton 19643795Nordic PhotosCaption:EGGS IN CARTONPhotographer:Frank ChmuraDimensions:5042px x 3361px

Eggs are pretty controversial. But if eggs simply have a "sell-by" date, feel comfort in the fact that you can store them for 3 to 5 weeks after purchase. You can keep them frozen for up to a year.

Bacon

Everyone loves bacon, but how long should bacon be kept in the fridge before you toss it? While the USDA advises you to adhere to "use by" dates, the "sell-by" dates, once again, doesn't matter much. If left open, you can keep bacon in the fridge (4o degrees Fahrenheit) for 2 weeks. Once you open it, you have 7 days to eat the bacon.

Lunch meat

If your lunch meat has a "sell-by" date rather than a "use-by" date, if you don't open it, the USDA says you can keep it for 2 weeks. But once you open the package, you only have 3 to 5 days left. StillTasty adds you can keep commercially packaged lunch meat (ham) in the freezer for 1-2 months!

Nuts

Commercially packaged nuts will stay for 10-12 months in the pantry, StillTasty says.

An opened jar of peanut butter

Once you open a jar of peanut butter, you can get 3-4 months out of it. StillTasty says you will get 3 months out of the peanut butter if you leave it in the pantry. However, you can (slightly) maximize the lifetime of your opened peanut butter if you refrigerate it — shelf life will be 3-4 months.

Lasagna noodles

No need to regularly purge your cabinets of noodles. Opened or unopened, you can get 3 years out of lasagna noodles, notes Still Tasty.

Chocolate

Boxed chocolates can last longer than you might expect, if stored properly. StillTasty advises you to store chocolate at room temperature to ge 6 to 9 months out of them (even if they've been opened).

Additionally, StillTasty writes that you can extend chocolate's life by cranking up the temperature. "As a general rule, refrigerating chocolate can extend its shelf life by at least 25%, while freezing can prolong it by 50% or more. Place the original box in a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag, seal it tightly and then refrigerate for up to one year, or freeze for up to 18 months for best quality. Thaw frozen chocolates in the refrigerator," the website advises.

However, StillTasty mentions that this is not the case for luxury, artisanal, handmade chocolates — at room temp, they'll stay fresh for 2-3 weeks.

Milk

If refrigerated, StillTasty writes that "Milk will generally remain drinkable for about one week after the "sell-by" date on the package." You can extend milk's life to about 3 months by freezing it. (The texture might be grainy, StillTasty notes, but thawed milk works for baking.)

A general rule of thumb for milk is this: "sour smell, an off-white or yellowish tinge to the color, and a thick or clumpy texture" means it's time to toss the milk.

Lettuce

Romaine lettuce will last about a week in the fridge. However, StillTasty writes, it doesn't do well if it's frozen. For optimal freshness, the site advises to not wash lettuce until you're about to eat it.

Yogurt

If you purchase commercially packaged, already refrigerated yogurt, you can keep it for about 7-10 days after the "sell by" date. If you freeze the yogurt, you can get 1-2 months out of it. Opened yogurt, StillTasty notes, will taste optimally for 5-7 days after it's opened.

How to tell if it's gone bad? Just check and use common sense. StillTasty says red-flags include " a highly runny watery consistency, a clumpy texture, and a sour smell." If you see mold, throw out the whole package. ("Do not taste the yogurt first," Still Tasty wisely advises.)

Fresh, raw salmon

Unopened salmon will last 1-2 from the date of purchase, notes StillTasty. However, if you freeze it (before the 1-2 days mentioned previously, that is), you can squeeze out an additional 2-3 months for optimal taste.

Ketchup

Left in the pantry, unopened ketchup will last around a year. Once opened, it will last around a month in the pantry and six months in the fridge.

Wine

The rules change for wine based on a few factors. While it's generally frowned upon to serve cold red wine, sticking opened red wine in the fridge will help it maintain freshness (it'll last an additional 3-5 days after you pop the cork). Stick opened red wine in the freezer, and it will stay for another 4-6 months! Opened white wine lasts just as long.

If you're a light drinker, it's wise to purchase a full-bodied wine (think Merlot or syrah vs. pinot noir), StillTasty says. Those variations of wine last longer.

Unopened red and white wine will last 3 years and beyond, depending on how fine it is. Nice wines can last up to 100 years!

Honey

Good news: honey left in the pantry will last forever!
Source: www.aol.com/article/2015/08/05/the-vast-majority-of-expiration-dates-are-completely-bogus-he/21218768/

Kids Cooking for Life


Kids Cooking for Life provides culinary programs that introduce children to the joy and social dimensions of food preparation, dining, and education for living a healthy and productive life.

The program is designed to inspire lifelong healthy cooking and eating habits in children.

We believe that by teaching children the importance of good nutrition as well as the joy and fun of eating food they have prepared with their own hands is one of the most effective ways to address the childhood obesity epidemic as well as the rapidly rising rate of lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Teaching throughout the San Francisco Bay Area on-site, trained instructors with a wealth of knowledge and experience in nutrition, culinary arts, agriculture and elementary education lead our classes. Children are exposed to all aspects of food preparation and sanitation, learn about where our food comes from, master knife skills, learn to read and understand nutrition labels, and learn about heart health, diabetes prevention and much more.
Source:  http://www.kidscookingforlife.org/ 100 Thorndale Dr, Apt 246
San Rafael, California, 415-472-2564

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