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This is kind of a cool idea…

(Note-The weekly baking post will be up tomorrow, because I still need to take some pictures for this week’s subject matter. )

When I was looking up prices on the Vollrath baking sheet, I came across this nifty little thing.


It’s called a Days Ago Digital Day Timer and it tells you how long it’s been since you opened a particular food item.

I can see where this would be really helpful when you’re storing something like leftover canned fruit (I always lose track of how many days mine has been around!). And, it’s really cute! However, I see a couple of downsides to it as well.

I think the best way to determine a food’s freshness is by observation…if it smells funky, if it’s slimy, if it’s an off-color, it’s probably not safe to eat, even if your day-timer only says it’s been a day since it’s been opened. On the flip side, even if your salsa has been open for 15 days, as long as there’s no mold, slime, or stink, it’s probably completely safe to eat.

If you really wanted to keep track of days, though, you could accomplish something similar without the use of a digital device. You could label foods with masking tape, you could write directly on the jar with a black marker(an SOS pad will take it right off when you’re done), or you could keep a list of opening dates on your fridge. These methods, while not as cute as the timer, are practically free and require no batteries (I, however, lack the organization/motivation to maintain either of those habits).

I mostly employ other anti-waste techniques, like going through my refrigerator regularly ( I try to take a peek through it each day at lunchtime, to remind myself of what I need to use soon), and planning meals so I know what and how much to buy. I also combine those two strategies by doing a fridge inventory before I plan my meals. If I see an open jar of salsa, for instance, I try to plan a meal using that item so I won’t be greeted by fuzzy mold the next time I unscrew the lid.

What do you think? Is this a helpful tool in the fight against food waste, or just another unncessary plastic device?

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Thursday 28th of May 2009

Cute, but the kind of thing I find in the bottom of a drawer of crap, forgetting when/why I bought it. Like my "grapefruit spoons".


Thursday 28th of May 2009

I think it is really cute and nifty. At one time, in another financial life, I probably would have bought just because I thought it was cute! But I agree it is just another item taking up space. I just use my nose and eyes and sense of touch to determine if food is safe. My family always shoves everything under my nose to determine if it is still okay to eat!


Thursday 28th of May 2009

i think its very tells you how long its been there, plus its easier then writing it down...


Thursday 28th of May 2009

An item that looks good, but you would use it once, realize that it is a pain in the butt, and throw it in the drawer with all the other things that you used just the strawberry huller, the sandwich crimper, the bamboo tongs to remove toast from the toaster...etc.


Thursday 28th of May 2009

It's unnecessary for me. I use a Sharpie and my nose. I am currently having an English muffin (from the freezer) with cream cheese for breakfast each day until I use up the cream cheese that's past its date (or until it starts smelling bad, whichever comes first). Looks like there's enough for only one more serving, which is good, because I'm kind of tired of it. But I'm the only one in the house who will eat things that are past the sell date and I don't want to throw it away 'cause it's still good. (And I'm still alive, there's the proof!)

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