To Waste Or Not To Waste: The More You Know

By Karla Martinez

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestPrint this page

As college students, who has time and money to go grocery shopping? Making our wallets cry, most of the food in our fridge ends up being forgotten, expired and then thrown out.

But let’s all agree that the first few days after a grocery shopping trip are glorious.


You’re in food heaven until a couple weeks pass, and you’re left with sour milk, questionable greens and eggs you’re not sure you can eat anymore. (Insert Green Eggs and Ham joke here.)

So… what? You just throw all that food out?

WRONG. Would you believe there’s actually a way to still eat it all?

Thanks to Dana Gunders, author of Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook, you can learn to save money and a trip to the grocery store by sparing what you think may be expired in your refrigerator.


Eggs: Don’t throw these suckers away according to the expiration date. Did you know that they are still good to eat four to five weeks later? As long as they are refrigerated, you’re good to go. If you are still iffy about it, put the eggs in a bowl of water. If they float, throw them out! If they sink, make eggs & bacon and call it a day.

Expired food: Depending on the product, it can be eaten days, weeks or months after the expiration date. What most people don’t know is that the ‘Sell by’ date is to protect the reputation of the food. It rarely has to do with food safety. Your best bet is to use your senses and smell it. Here are some ways you can store your food to extend its shelf life.

Vegetables: Our vegetables may sit in our fridge drawers untouched resulting in soggy, wilted carrots, broccoli and more. One way to fix this mess is to soak the products in a bowl of ice water. This will cause them to crisp up once again! As for your lettuce and mixed greens, try sauteing them. You’re welcome.

Freezer foods: Never underestimate the power of your freezer. Chopped tomatoes, onions and even sliced bread can be put in the freezer to maintain their freshness. This also includes unopened bags of ham, bologna and sausages. Here’s a great list including other things that can be saved.

Milk: Instead of throwing your sour milk out, try cooking with it. It’s actually a substitute to buttermilk. Try adding your sour milk to your biscuit or pancake batter, you can’t taste the sour! Here is Dana Gunder’s recipe if you are feeling adventurous.

Next time your fridge is looking sad, instead of throwing stuff out, dish out some vegetables and saute them. Make some sour milk pancakes. Ignore expiration dates and use your best judgement. After all, we are college students and have to make the best of what we have.