Saturday, 5 July 2014

08:08 – As expected, Colin had a pretty rough evening, with all the fireworks. Around 4:20 p.m. Barbara left to meet her sister and friends for dinner. Colin and I had PB&J sandwiches and potato chips for dinner, and started watching Heartland re-runs. There wasn’t much noise while it was still full light out. I took Colin for a walk down the street around 9:00 p.m. It wasn’t full dark yet, and there was a fair amount of popping and a couple of booms around the neighborhood. Colin was nervous, but he kept walking. Around 9:30, the heavier stuff started. I turned up the volume on the TV to smother some of the noise. Colin lay on the sofa next to me, panting and with his ears down flat.

By the time Barbara got home around 11:15, we’d made it through 7 episodes of Heartland, along with half of the Christmas special. That took us to the halfway point in series four.

Oh, yeah. Long-term food storage note: I made two PB&J sandwiches, one with the last of a jar of Welch’s Grape Jelly that passed its best-by date two years ago, and the second with a jar Barbara had just purchased. The two were indistinguishable. And I’d bet money that the same would have been true had the old jar been ten years past its best-by date.

The dirty little secret that food manufacturers won’t admit to is that their best-by dates, particularly for canned/jarred foods, are completely arbitrary. They set them as short as they think they can get away with because they want to encourage people to throw out perfectly good food and buy more. I’ve been watching this happen for decades, and the expiration dates keep getting shorter. For a lot of products, if you compare the best-by date on a can purchased today versus a can of the same product purchased 20 or 30 years ago, you’ll find that supposed shelf life is half or less now what it was then. It’s a racket, and the upshot is that over the years Americans have discarded millions of tons of perfectly good food.