The egg, symbolic of life itself, is nutritious and serves up well as a snack or as part of a more substantial meal. Everyone the world over eats eggs. Oh, except vegans.
The thing is we at The Coffee House have been having a chat about food waste. Mountains of good food is destroyed daily in wealthy countries as the sell by date is passed. It’s a scandal.
In the course of our conversation we realised our relationship with food has changed beyond all recognition. The bottom line is we have lost the ability to understand our food. It has resulted in;
* our difficulty in choosing a good piece of fruit, meat, fish, vegetable. Our knowledge of what looks, smells, feels, even sounds right (think of a melon) has gone.
* our inability to cobble a number of dishes together from a few ingredients
* our lack of desire to cook something from scratch more than a couple of times a week, if that!
* our compliance with H&S guidance and labelling schemes. If it’s out of date mate, throw it away.
Obviously each household is different but the trends are real.
We had a think about what has led us all to this madness! The list is surprisingly long. If you have something to add or disagree with some points let us know;
* the weekly shop as opposed to the daily stroll down to the market means we don’t plan ahead as well, leading to food waste
* the obsession with sell by dates
* food scares probably resulting from factory farming and monoculture farm practises
* refrigeration and freezer technology coupled with airmiles means we have lost a sense of time and location. We don’t know where our food comes from and we even forget it’s in the freezer!
* changing roles within the household with both parents working, coupled with longer hours (including longer travelling times) means no one is at home spending time preparing fresh meals for the evening, the main meal of the day. This has been an important area for keeping food knowledge alive, now sadly lost.
* rise of the celebrity chef who talks about everything except how to cook up simple, delicious food. Delia may be an exception here. These chefs have of course failed to replace the grandmother or mother and the occasional father as teacher.
* ready meals that of course make us all lazy and are solely responsible for turning us into TV addicts (that and long hours and travelling to and from work) making interesting communication within families a novelty!
We could go on but lets not!
In a recent post I mentioned coming across some butter about a month out of date. It smelt absolutely fine so I finished the butter off over a few days. I didn’t end up in hospital.
The Egg Test
Now I have an egg staring at me in the fridge. It’s 8 days over its use by date. If it was a few days over, fine but it’s a week. Trouble is I can’t really, truthfully remember the egg test(s) that establish that an egg is still OK to eat.
Can anyone help me here?