I well remember how tough things were for my Dad once my Mother passed away. He lived two years longer than she did and during those years he was totally lost. Emotionally and intellectually. I would have done anything I could have to help him and I offered. Unfortunately, he was too stubborn to let anyone do for him that which I could see he wasn't able to really do for himself.
Case in point: after he passed away, Claudia and I naturally had to go through all his office papers, mail that had stock piled, etc. etc. We even found checks issued to him that went back a couple of years and which he never opened at all. He was TRYING to take care of everything but man, was he ever in need of secretarial help. He also didn't do so hot in the grocery and/or refrigeration department, either. As in: had my Mother been alive she would have for SURE gotten rid of alot of food in Dad's refrigerator she deemed out of date. Not so for him however. He figured if the food still looked sorta alive then it was still probably perfectly acceptable for eating. Dad apparently had his OWN timing on what expiration dates for food should be. Forget about what the packaging labels had to say.
Turns out I think Dad was onto something.
Just after my recent surgery, I had to buy a few packs of frozen veggies so I could apply them to the swelling on my face. Which I did. And... given I love frozen peas and corn so much... I eventually wound up eating them myself. And I loved it. I even made frozen corn my total dinner one night, since I gotta tell you... once I took one bite, I needed another and then another and then another. Eventually I got so stuffed, I couldn't even eat anything else. Bingo. Frozen corn was my excellent dinner.
About a week passed and then one OTHER night I thought to myself: man, I'd sure love to have some frozen corn once again. At which point I literally began rummaging through my freezer and LO AND BEHOLD I found one more package of corn!! I was in ecstasy! Yippee! My favorite veggie.
Then I noticed: Oops. The expiration date was... sitting down???... FOUR YEARS AGO! I think something like 2008!!! Shows how often I check the dates in my freezer, huh?? Talk about the apple not falling far from Dad's tree. I IMMEDIATELY thought of him and then I thought: Well... let's say I was in a war zone or something and I was really really starving. And I found this corn, sitting in the freezer all this time... what would I do?? Would I obey the expiration date?? Or, would I eat it given I'd have been so weaken from lack of food for so long?? Boom. I made my decision: DAMN RIGHT I WOULD EAT IT!
Which is when I opened the bag of corn, thought of my Dad and started chowing down in mere seconds. With happy gusto, I might add. And... I was loving it! I was also thinking: if I have to go to the Emergency Room later in the evening from horrible food poisoning, then so be it. For NOW however... I was relishing the veggies. Thus the idea of my possibly expiring was but a faint concern compared to my momentary delight of eating the corn. Plus... as you can see... I'M STILL ALIVE AND KICKING, afterall.
Which goes to the entire point of exactly HOW TRUE ARE THE EXPIRATION DATES, ANYWAY? Granted, I definitely obey the dates on milk and eggs. Especially since they have never been frozen. But I bet there is a HUGE amount of foods that can EASILY go beyond the point of their life expectancies. Even oral medications, too, I bet. Which is good. I apparently just never know when I'll have to go scrounging again... especially in cases of unexpected veggie cravings.