Friday, 19 December 2014

08:05 – When we got up this morning, Barbara announced that she’d gotten angry at me in a dream because I’d bought fifty boxes of Wheaties cereal. I told her that I understood her anger, since I don’t eat cereal and she eats Wheaties only occasionally.

Not that buying fifty boxes of cereal would be outrageous for many preppers. That brownish plastic-y material they use to wrap cereal, crackers, and similar items is actually pretty effective at preserving them. I assume it’s some form of thick BO-PET, which provides a good oxygen/moisture barrier. The last time we bought crackers at Costco, I noticed that the best-by date was 2.5 years out. In reality, that means they should be just fine for at least 5 to 10 years, unless rodents get to them. The same is probably true for packaged breakfast cereals. And if you repackage them in 7-mil foil laminate bags with oxygen absorbers, their true shelf life is probably 100+ years.

Other than for fresh meat, eggs, dairy products, baked goods, and similar items, the whole concept of “best-by” dates is imaginary anyway. Up until about 1970, canned goods and other preserved foods weren’t dated at all, because the (correct) assumption was that they remained good essentially forever. The same is true today, but best-by dates are used by manufacturers to encourage turnover. And, as a result, Americans throw out literally billions of dollars worth of perfectly good food every year, simply because it’s passed those imaginary best-by dates.