Tag Archives: perishable food

food safety and storage

Safe Storage for Perishable Foods

Perishable foods are foods that spoil quickly and need to be stored properly to stay fresh and keep germs from multiplying. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood are perishable foods. We tend to waste perishable foods because they go bad before we eat them. Food is a large part of a family’s budget, so wasted food is wasted money. Let’s talk about how to store perishable foods so they have the longest shelf life, stay safe to eat, and limits food waste. Continue reading

Dietetic Intern Courtney’s SNAP Challenge Day 4 and 5

Day 4: What about dinner?

Today I began my morning with a smoothie – milk, plain yogurt, a heaping spoon of peanut butter, the remaining ½ banana, and a tablespoon of sugar ($0.80). Today I had a Folgers’s instant coffee, too, with a splash of milk ($0.15).

My lunch consists of an egg salad sandwich made with 2 hard boiled eggs, salt, pepper, and mayo ($0.54). I’m also having leftovers from 2 nights ago as a snack– roasted carrots and sweet potato with some seasoned ground turkey.

Estimated Daily Total Day 4: $2.53
This day compared to MyPlate recommendations:

SNAP Challenge Day 4 MyPlate Comparison

Day 5: Blackout

Well, the power went out last night as a result of a “winter storm” that brought us several inches of snow. That really puts my meal plan to the test. Wow. I definitely didn’t plan for this; however, I assume that many people are unprepared for emergencies, including SNAP participants! A supply of non-perishable items would come in handy. Unfortunately, the only items I have that will survive without refrigeration are 1 can each of tuna and beans, peanut butter, carrots and an apple. I’m not quite sure what to do with my oatmeal, potato, and rice now that I have no way of cooking them.

My husband tried cooking an egg over candlelight last night which didn’t go very well. The leather-like product revealed that candlelight isn’t an option. The other items I have remaining are ½ bag of spinach, margarine, mayonnaise, milk, yogurt, raw ground turkey, and raw eggs. My meal plan has been tossed to the side and I’m now trying to figure out how I will get through the weekend if the power doesn’t return. The last time it went out due to a windstorm in July, we didn’t have power for almost a week. A representative of the power company told my husband on the phone that they estimate that it should be on by Tuesday – two days after the end of the challenge.

Honestly, I have thought about giving up and trying the challenge another week. Then I thought of people that may be experiencing this as a way of life and not as a weekly challenge. What if I was concerned about the remainder of the month’s food in my fridge versus only the next few days’ worth? That was enough to persuade my decision towards “toughing it out” so that I may experience a fraction of what could actually happen.

Anyway, last night’s supper was Wednesday’s leftovers— beans, rice, and spinach and rice pudding. I also had a small spinach salad with ranch dressing. ($0.22) After I ate the orange and ½ grapefruit as a snack ($0.82), I about kicked myself! Admittedly, it was an impulsive move. That leaves me with an apple as my only fruit serving for the remaining three days! It’s sinking in that I cannot go out and buy more produce because I’m running low on fruits and veggies.

SNAP Challenge 018

This morning I ate about a cup of yogurt with honey and a scoop full of oats ($0.72). I could have had about 2 more portions but I’m in rationing mode, especially due to this power-outage situation!

Later

Lunch was about 2-3 cups of Spinach, ¼ cup of black beans, and a couple tablespoons of ranch dressing ($0.72). I was hungry about 30 seconds after my last bite. Since I didn’t plan my meals beforehand today, I will have to wait until I return home. After my workout this afternoon, I expect to be one hungry, crabby girl!

Most of the perishable items are currently in the freezer awaiting their fate of spoilage. I’d imagine someone that was hungry and living in poverty may be more concerned with filling their belly than with food safety. Is it considered a luxury to throw out food because you are concerned that it may be unsafe? This is what’s on my mind tonight.

The following sources from foodsafety.gov and usda.gov were useful during this situation:

Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency
Refrigerated Food and Power Outages: When to Save and When to Throw Out 

Estimated Daily Total Day 5: $2.44
This day compared to MyPlate recommendations:
SNAP Challenge Day 5 MyPlate Comparison