Expiration Date

“Is __________ still good?” “[Sniiiiiff]…yeah, good enough.” So goes many an exchange in our house ever since a trip to the grocery store began to take on the significance of a trip abroad. A half-squishy bunch of parsley is no longer trash-bound. Week-old beans? Simmer them for a while—it’ll be fine! This degree of waste aversion might previously have felt extreme. But I’ve increasingly developed a more… intuitive approach to what stays and what goes. White mold is okay on cheese, why not on sour cream? These past few months I’ve learned that, despite what the FDA and our beloved research department will say, a good sniff will tell you more than an expiration date—the coward’s way out!—ever could. —Amiel Stanek,

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